In the week since its launch, the Tejas Express from Mumbai to Goa has carried more than 6,000 passengers. Of these, only 50 passengers have given the railways their feedback. From ‘stylish crockery’ that would more suit the luxury train and more tissue paper in toilets to announcements before automatic doors close, the suggestions are varied.
The luxury Mumbai-Karmali (Goa) service, launched by Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu, has completed six trips and both Konkan Railway and Indian Rail Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) had sought feedback from the passengers.
While the IRCTC hands out feedback forms to passengers as the train enters Thane from Mumbai, the Konkan Railway has an online form.
With 56 seats reserved for the only Executive Chair Class compartment (EC), travellers suggested improvements in the way food could be served. Railway officials and some commuters The Indian Express spoke to shared some of the suggestions.
“As it is a revolutionary train for the Indian Railways, we would like it if food is served in stylish crockery. By this, we mean the cutlery should be of premium quality so that we could have food comfortably on our snack table. This would add to the experience as opposed to eating from aluminum containers,” said Shashank Shrivastava, a commuter who travelled in the EC compartment.
Fares of the EC compartment are almost twice as high as those in the Chair-Class compartment (CC), which has 12 coaches with 78 seats each. Provision of blankets and regular maintenance of toilets were some of the other suggestions.
“Our expectations of having clean toilets increase since we are paying double the cost to travel in Tejas as compared with any other train. More focus on regular cleaning and maintenance is needed,” said Hitesh Purohit, another EC class commuter who also said the lavatories need more tissue papers.
The need for an intimation through announcement or visual display before the doors in the train close was also suggested. “A commuter could not board the train as the doors closed before he could enter, at Goa station. Passengers also have a habit to step out and stand on platforms during halts. An intimation could be given to us through announcement or some visual sign,” added Purohit.
Some passengers complained about the additional halts at Madgaon and Chiplun, the higher fares and food not being served on time.“Increasing halts at stations could increase the overall time of the journey, which defeats the purpose of a ‘super fast express’. We will submit other suggestions to the Railway Board, which will take further action,” said Chief Public Relations Officer (Konkan Railway) L K Verma.