Starting today, passengers heading to Goa during will be able to ride in a new premier train service from Mumbai.
The train, manufactured at the Rail Coach Factory in Kapurthala boasts of cuisine curated by celebrity chefs, tea and coffee vending machines and individual LCD screens.
The 20-coach Tejas Express will be the first Indian Railways' train to have automatic doors and secured gangways for all coaches. Automatic doors are operational only in metro trains in the country, while gangways in trains are open from the sides.
"Tomorrow is going to be a historic day for the Indian Railways when Tejas Express, which boasts of ultra-modern amenities like on board infotainment, wi-fi, CCTV, fire and smoke detection facilities, tea/coffee vending machine etc will make its maiden run from Mumbai," D K Sharma, general manager of the Central Railway, said on Sunday.
Sharma, who inspected the train at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, Mumbai (CSTM) likened Tejas Express with an "aeroplane moving on the ground".
"I would say that traveling by this premium train would provide a better experience than flying in a plane. This train would pass through the lush greenery of the Konkan belt, giving a picturesque view of the seashore, mountains and valleys, which will let you enjoy the journey and not just the destination (Goa)," he said.
When asked about reports that a few miscreants had damaged the windows of the Tejas Express, even before its launch, the official said, "We have taken proper note of it and it is no more an issue now."
Giving the details of the route and schedule of the train, Sharma said it would run between Mumbai and Karmali (Goa) five days a week during non-monsoon period and three days a week during monsoon by halting at Dadar, Thane, Panvel, Ratnagiri and Kudal stations.
"Train No 22119 Superfast Tejas Express will leave CST at 5 AM every Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday from May 24 and arrive at Karmali at 1.30 PM the same day.
Train No 22120 Superfast Tejas Express will leave Karmali at 2.30 PM on every Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, starting from May 23 and arrive at the CST at 9 PM," he said.
This train will have one executive AC chair car with 56 seating capacity and 12 AC chair cars with 78 seat capacity of each coach, Sharma said.
CR's Chief Commercial Manager Shailendra Kumar expressed happiness over the "positive response" shown by passengers in booking advance tickets for the train.
Kumar, who accompanied Sharma during the train inspection, added, "The ticket booking started within minutes of its opening this morning and in the first four hours, 207 passengers booked tickets for the AC chair car and 10 for executive AC chair car."
Sharing details of the fares, Kumar said Tejas Express's executive class fare has been fixed at Rs 2,680 with food and Rs 2,525 without food, and for AC chair car the fare has been fixed at Rs 1,280 with food and Rs 1,155 without food.
Kumar also informed that the railways has planned optional onboard catering services.
"If a passenger does not opt for catering services at the time of booking the ticket and decides to buy meals onboard, an extra amount of Rs 50 per service in addition to the prescribed catering charges, shall be charged subject to availability," he added.
Tejas coaches will be equipped with 22 new features, including fire and smoke detection and suppression systems and the improved aesthetics.
The Tejas Express train, which was promised in the budget, is likely to be inducted on the Delhi-Chandigarh route.
There will also be water level indicators in bio-vacuum toilets, sensorised taps, and hand driers.
The train's interior colour scheme will match the exterior to give the passengers a feel of world class travel.
Besides offering TV shows and movies in the train, the LCD screens will also be used for providing passenger-related information and safety instructions.
Tejas coaches will also have integrated braille displays, digital destination boards, and electronic passenger reservation charts.
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