In continued efforts at revamping Indian Railways, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu has granted another gift to the public.
In the latest reports, the newest addition to Indian Railways is an all new AC-III tier coach, which will be well equipped with coffee and tea machines, CCTVs and GPS-based passenger information system. The Indian Express reports that it will be rolled out by the middle of November.
Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu had announced in the Rail Budget this year that many new types of trains will aim at enhancing passenger comfort.
It has been reported that the coaches are being manufactured by Rail Coach Factory in Rae Bareli. In a report of Financial Express, it quoted its sources as saying that final touches are being given to the coaches right now.
The new coaches will have fire-and-smoke detectors, automatic room-freshener dispensers, GPS-based information system above each door, “graffiti proof” gel coating in toilet walls, curtains for side berths as well as in the aisles, which are currently available in higher classes only and an airline-like light bar with numbers indicating upper, lower and middle berths, which will replace the stencilled numbering on the walls.
According to the reports, the Humsafar Express will have mobile and laptop charging points with every berth. This fully air-conditioned Linke Hofmann Busch (LCB) 3-tier coach train will also have all display boards that will also have braille facility for the visually impaired. The coaches will have bio-toilets, in continuaion of Indian Railways vision of ensuring defecation free tracks. The toilets will also boast of plush interiors along with odour control systems. In addition to this, meals would be an optional service.
It has been reported that the coaches will initially be deployed as a part of the Humsafar service, which will run between Delhi and Gorakhpur.
Humsafar Express was one of the three trains that were announced for reserved passengers in this year’s Rail Budget. According to the reports, the other two Tejas and UDAY, are still in works.
Indian Railways has claimed that the Humsafar Express’ seats will be much more comfortable compared to others in the category. The seats have been provided with better padding. They also have ‘more comfortable’ head rest for upper berths, it added.
In his Rail Budget Speech, Prabhu had said that, Humsafar and Tejas trains will ensure cost recovery by way of tariff and non-tariff measures. And to support that, Indian Railways plans to keep the fares of Humsafar Express around 20% higher than that of normal Mail and Express services.