Aug 8, 2017

Indian Railways is set to transform your train journey with these changes

Over the past few months, Indian Railways has been taking measures to ramp up its services for passengers, which is likely to transform the train journeys

Over the past few months, Indian Railways has been taking measures to ramp up its services, which are likely to transform train journey for passengers.

All these years, Indian Railways (IR) has been criticised for its poor services, unhygienic catering services, delayed electrification process, and unclean toilets and blankets.
Indian Railways, which saw very less changes until recently, set the stage to revamp trains and services in the previous year when it introduced several new trains like Humsafar Express, Gatiman Express, among others that were equipped with new-age facilities.

Here are the changes made by the Indian Railways that will give travellers a different experience:

> Exciting new look

In January 2017, IR decided to invite bids for advertisements to be wrapped around 35,000 coaches in 10,000 trains. This would give trains a new look as well as help Railways to generate revenue apart from freight and passenger traffic.

Its non-fare revenue policy also includes setting up of ATMs on railway platforms, offering to stream videos/movies and channeling radio within trains.

> E-catering services

Catering services in train has received maximum criticism on the quality and hygiene of food served to the passengers.

Out of 4,828 food samples checked between 2014 and 2017, 575 samples were scrutinised in the current financial year 2017-18 (up to June 2017), according to reports.

In 2015, Railways revamped its catering services by making it 'station-based' from the initial 'train-based'. It opened ways for food aggregators, food chains like Domino's Pizza and Pizza Hut to join the stride in providing quality food at stations with ease.

Also, under the New Catering Policy 2017, it gave Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) the responsibility to manage catering services in all mobile units.

Railways also removed mandatory catering services on Shatabdi, Duronto and Rajdhani trains.

> Delayed trains

The CAG report 2017 stated that despite levying 'superfast' surcharges on superfast trains, 21 superfast trains were late on 3,000 days out of 16,804 as they failed to attain the ‘superfast’ speed.

However, the Railways had been working on bringing in new trains with better speed that would reduce the travel time between two destinations such as Tejas Express on Mumbai-Goa route.

> Dirty linen IR on July 30 announced to replace existing blankets with designer light-weight blankets in phases as well as increase the frequency of washing blankets after CAG slammed railways for dirty linens.

> Wi-Fi connection 

After successful stint of installing Wi-Fi across 125 stations, Indian Railways is now looking to provide Wi-Fi internet access for all its onboard passengers for the entire duration of train journeys.

Indian Railways has already been giving internet services on its premier trains such as the Tejas, Gatimaan, Delhi-Howrah Rajdhani Express and other luxury trains for quite some time now.

> Better infrastructure 

The railway stations at various locations are likely to get a makeover by the government in the fiscal 2017-18 as the Prime Minister's Office has asked Indian Railways to look at redevelopment programme.

> Improved technologies

The Indian Railways is working on a range of technologies, including the substitution of 40 percent of diesel by compressed natural gas (CNG) and installation of mono-crystalline solar panel that will help Railways achieve its target to reduce carbon footprint.

> Bio-toilets

Bio-toilets are being installed in the railway coaches to prevent human waste to be thrown on the railway tracks. The technology also allows one to convert human waste into water and bio-gases (mainly Methane CH4 & Carbon Dioxide CO2).About 67,176 bio-toilets were installed in coaches and over 45 green toilets at railway stations till March 31, 2017.