THE Antyodaya Express to Tatanagar (Jamshedpur) in Jharkhand will be inaugurated by Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu through video-conferencing from the Lokmanya Tilak Terminus (LTT) Saturday. The departure of the rake is scheduled at 1.20 pm from the station. The Antyodaya Express was announced as a part of Prabhu’s Railway Budget 2016 speech. It is meant to be a long-distance, fully unreserved, superfast train service, which will cover the distance between the two cities in 25 hours.
“While the train had reached Mumbai in first week of March, a code of conduct applied due to different state elections had held its first journey. After Saturday, the rake will cater to bi-weekly trips,” said a senior railway official.
The rake would be scheduled for every Tuesday and Saturday. Officials said the coaches are fully unreserved, LHB second class with the required amenities.
“Antyodaya Express boasts of many modern amenities such as water purifiers, bio-toilets, fire extinguishers, anti-theft arrangement, cushioned luggage racks with coat hooks and LED lights. The toilets in the new train have been made on lines of an AC-1st class Rajdhani Express,” the official added.
The Railways had maintained that manufacturing cost of these coaches with modern facilities was high, so special fares — 15 per cent higher than the fares of regular long-distance trains — would be fixed.
“Basic fare of the express train will be approximately between Rs 380-400 for each passenger seat as it is 10-15 per cent higher than the basic fare of any other long-distance train. While the final fare chart is yet to arrive, no flexi system is decided yet,” said a senior official from the commercial department of the Central Railway.
The train with 22 coaches was prepared by the Integral Coach Factory in Chennai. Prabhu will also be inaugurating the first Medha rake, which will take trips between Dadar and Virar on the first day. The rake built with indigenous technology will replace one of the Bombardier rakes on the suburban system of the Western Railway.