After several defects cropped up in various equipment of the Ahmedabad-Mumbai Tejas Express during its inaugural run, including a panel falling off in the executive coach and about 30 per cent of onboard entertainment screens not functioning, the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) has shot a letter to Rail Coach Factory (RCF) to repair these items.
IRCTC is also mulling replacing all onboard entertainment screens with better quality screens in line with those fitted in airplanes.
“The panel falling off is unacceptable. Besides, several safety items had issues, including the rubber coating of the glass windows, which was coming off,” an IRCTC official said.
The sensor taps too were leaking. The dustbins opened automatically if a person passed by it. The automatic blinders for windows also had issues. A Western Railway official said, “The coach is still under warranty and hence the various Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) have been asked to fix the equipment with no cost to the railway.”
In a bid to promote national integrity, passengers boarding from Ahmedabad will be served Maharashtrian cuisine for breakfast and lunch, while those from Mumbai heading to Ahmedabad will be served Gujarati food from Sunday. This comes after MNS workers had threatened to disrupt operations demanding that Maharashtrian culture should be presented well. The attendants onboard have been given Gandhian caps to replace their kathiyawadi caps.
Apart from this, IRCTC is also looking at introducing automatic foot massaging facility for the executive class passengers. The services can be availed for Rs 100 or Rs 50.
Mumbai-Shirdi train via Pune
IRCTC may soon start another private train: from Mumbai to Shirdi via Pune. According to officials, the train would depart Mumbai early morning, reach Pune by 9 am and Shirdi by 1.30 pm, before returning to Mumbai the same day. According to officials, trains which can make the return journey the same day are being given priority for private operations. Trains such as the Mumbai-Delhi Rajdhani Express will be considered for private operations once its running time is reduced to 10 hours against the existing 15.
“Railways is working to increase its speed to 160 kmph from the existing 130 kmph after which it will be easier to get this segment for private operations,” said a senior railway official.
IRCTC said 963 passengers have booked tickets on Tejas Express from Ahmedabad to Mumbai on January 19, while 945 passengers have booked tickets from Mumbai to Ahmedabad. There are 875 bookings from Ahmedabad to Mumbai and 352 from Mumbai to Ahmedabad on January 20. The train has a capacity of 736.
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