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Indian Railways installs automatic food vending machine on a train for the first time

The Indian Railways has taken several initiatives to make passenger service better during train journey. Last week, the IRCTC launched its trial run of environment-friendly, bagasse-based food packaging on eight select Shatabdi and Rajdhani trains originating from New Delhi.

Indian Railways has for the first time installed tablet-operated automatic food vending machine in the newly-launched Coimbatore-Bengaluru UDAY Express. The passengers travelling on the train can now have a variety of snacks and beverages such as biscuits, chips, packaged foods, canned juices, aerated drinks, tea and coffee.

Apart from food vending machine, the newly-introduced UDAY Express is also equipped with a host of new features such as infotainment system, with wi-fi, GPS-based passenger information system and an exclusive dining area for passengers. Double-decker UDAY Express, which was flagged-off on Friday, will run between Coimbatore and Bengaluru.

The Indian Railways has taken several initiatives to make passenger service better during train journey. Last week, the IRCTC launched its trial run of environment-friendly, bagasse-based food packaging on eight select Shatabdi and Rajdhani trains originating from New Delhi.

The IRCTC will now use bagasse -- the fibrous remains after extracting sugarcane juice -- to make disposable cutlery and containers, in which meals will be served.

Calling the initiative a small step to beat plastic pollution, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal in a tweet said that the Indian Railways has started using fully biodegradable packages in 4 Shatabdi and 4 Rajdhani trains from Delhi, contributing towards a greener planet.

In the coming months, the railways aims to introduce the bagasse-based packaging on all the Rajdhani, Shatabdi and Duranto trains in the coming months.

Earlier, the Indian Railways overhauled its ticketing website to ensure better user experience. The new IRCTC website has more user friendly features for easier navigation. On new website, users can now enquire / search trains and check availability of seats without login.

It also has class-wise, train-wise, destination-wise, departure/arrival time wise and quota-wise filters for facilitating customers while planning their journeys.

To enhance user's booking experience, the Railways has also introduced waitlist prediction- a feature that will predict the probability of a Waitlisted or RAC ticket getting confirmed. This technique uses algorithm based on historical booking trends of the particular train.