The Indian Railways has taken a cue from China and European countries like Britain and France to upgrade passenger amenities in its trains.
While the railways are set to introduce the first batch of trains stewards and hostesses on Gatimaan Express, the facility is quite popular in China, which has a vast railway network across the country. Bullet trains in China provide its passengers with several world class amenities including train hostesses.
Applying to become train hostess involves a rigorous interview procedure apart from physical appearance, language proficiency and general behaviour.
As a practice, five different professional exams are held in China to select bullet train attendants who are also given training course later. The guidelines to become one of the attendants are extremely strict and take into account everything from skills to body height.
In Japan too, stewards and hostesses in uniform greet passengers on bullet trains. They are also responsible for cleaning empty cars, rotate seats to the opposite direction, bow on exiting and promenade off the platform in two neat parallel rows.
Eurostar, the high speed railway service connecting London with Avignon, Brussels, Lille, Lyon, Marseille and Paris has a sizable number of train hostesses. With three classes of travel, Eurostar provides facilities like bar buffet in coaches for an array of food and drink. They also provide special facilities for children including kids' meals and a toddler meal box of a sandwich, drink, fruit and colouring book.
Complimentary three-course meal and drinks served at seat, including Champagne for the executive business class passengers. Another popular train service - TGV in France has been a leader in providing some top class amenities to its passengers.
From free newspapers and magazines to drinks and snacks - train attendants take care of every passenger needs during their journey. The trains as well as stations and lounges on TGV are equipped with WiFi. All passengers are provided welcome drink and snack on board while meals are available at passengers' seats on selected services.