Updated: January 22, 2021 2:28:51 pm
On Sunday (January 17), Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagged off eight trains from different parts of the country to Kevadia in Narmada district, where the Statue of Unity is located, in a bid to attract tourism to this tribal belt.
Out of these eight trains, the Janshatabdi Express from Ahmedabad-has a Vistadome coach, which is gaining a lot of attention.
What is a Vistadome coach?
The Vistadome coach is a state-of-the-art coach made by Indian Railways, designed to provide passengers with travel comfort as well as an enhanced viewing experience of their surroundings.
According to Indian Railway officials, the Vistadome coach in the Janshatabdi Express has been manufactured at the Integral Coach Factory in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. It is for the first time that the Vistadome coach has been made on the Linke Hofmann Busch (LHB) platform, made for passenger coaches for trains in India.
What are the salient features of Vistadome?
Some of the features of the Vistadome coach are an observation lounge with a large window for passengers to experience the scenic route to Kevadia. The 44 recliner-180 degree rotatable seats ensure people can enjoy the view from both windows to their right and left, there are automatic sliding doors at both gates of the coach, glass rooftops offer a panoramic view, while there are five large windows on each side.
The coach also has foldable snack tables similar to what is provided in flights, seat numbers with Braille language, an in-built entertainment system integrated with digital display screens and speakers along with a GPS-based public-address-cum passenger information system, access to ‘content on demand’ for passengers through Wi Fi facility on their personal gadgets, a mini pantry with coffee maker, water cooler, hot oven and refrigerator, separate multi-tier luggage compartment, along with a separate cabin for train staff who will brief passengers regarding the coach in each ride.
The coach will also have CCTV surveillance, fire alarm system and an LED destination board.
How many seats does the Vistadome coach have?
According to railway officials, there are as many as 44 recliner seats in the coach and the price is Rs 885 per reserved seat in the Janshatabdi Express, which is similar to the cost of a seat in the Executive Chair Car coach.
How different is the travelling experience in Vistadome from regular Indian Railways coaches?
The Indian Express spoke to passengers who travelled in the Vistadome coach in the Janshatabdi Express on Sunday. Among these was 45-year-old Mayur Vakani, actor who performs the role of ‘Sundar’ in the television serial ‘Tarak Mehta ka Ulta Chashma’.
“I have travellled in trains of Europe and I must say that the Vistadome coach is not just at par with them, but has surpassed them when it comes to facilities. This is like travelling in an aeroplane on railway tracks. The ride was extremely smooth and I did not feel any vibration or movement when the train was at full speed,” said Vakani.
Speaking to The Indian Express, an official of Western Railways said, “The salient feature of Vistadome is that it has air suspension spring riding comfort technology, which ensures passengers feel no tiredness at all during the journey. We encourage travellers to keep a glass full of water on the snacks table when the train is at full speed, and notice that the glass will be completely still.”
What trains were launched to Kevadia?
The eight trains are Kevadia-Varanasi (Mahamana Weekly Express) from Uttar Pradesh, Kevadia-Dadar (Dadar Kevadia Daily Express) from Mumbai Kevadia-Ahmedabad (Janshatabdi Daily Express), Kevadia-Hazrat Nizamuddin (Nizamuddin Kevadia Sampark Kranti Bi Weekly Express) from Delhi, Kevadiya-Rewa (Kevadia Rewa Weekly Express) from Madhya Pradesh, Kevadia-Chennai (Chennai Kevadia Weekly Express), Kevadia-Pratapnagar (MEMU Daily) and Pratapnagar-Kevadia (MEMU Daily) from Vadodara, all in presence of the states’ respective Chief Ministers, Union railway minister Piyush Goyal and Minister for External Affairs S Jaishankar.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines