SWARN – Adding Luxury to Shatabdi Express
Luxury is no longer confined to just the luxury trains. India is in the path of introducing luxury train to every economic level passengers. Indian Railways has introduced the first luxury Shatabdi Express. The train is upgraded with hygiene elements, comfort, value added amenities, better decor and others. This project is undertaken under SWARN program. Swarn was introduced as a measure to bring back Shatabdi and Rajdhani Express trains back to luxury group, as it was intended to be when they were introduced to Indians.
This train is said to run from Kathgodam of Uttarakhand to New Delhi. The journey covers 282 km. The train has a complete new outlook with vinyl-covered seats, entertainment service and others similar to that of a luxury train. Vinyl covering are used in luggage rack, doorways, gangways and others. Fluorescent strips are used for guiding passengers inside the train. For visually challenged people, braille signs are also provided in the coaches.
On the outside, the train is covered with anti-graffiti coating which gives a polished look. The floors of the train are covered with anti-abrasion coating, which assures the lifetime of the train’s decor. The toilet facilities have been upgraded with dustbins, odor control system seat covers and others.
In the executive coaches, disposable headrest covers will also be provided. The train makes use of innovative technology to provide hotspot for internet users. You can enjoy HD streaming videos or perform any action using your smartphones. It is said that the train has GPD information system for the passengers and CCTV inside the coaches for safety. Trolley services are available for catering services in the train.
This upgradation was a part of Operation Swarn, which was undertaken by the railway department in June of this year to focus on coach interior, linen, hygiene, punctuality, staff behavior, catering, entertainment center and housekeeping. For this operation, the railways has planned to spend around INR 50 lakhs for each train. Overall, a budget of INR 25 crores has been allocated for 30 trains, which include 15 Shatabdi Express, and 15 Rajdhani trains. Before March 2018, the department has aimed to upgrade all the trains of similar standards.
The fifteen Rajdhani covered under Swarn ply in Mumbai, Ranchi, Howrah, Bhubaneshwar, Patna and others. The Shatabdi Express covered under this operation run through New Delhi – Kanpur route, New Delhi – Chandigarh route and Howrah – Ranchi route.
India is taking responsibility in providing better train experience to Indian. The real question here is whether Indians are ready for such a luxury. With objects stolen and damaged in luxury trains in India (to quote, the maiden journey of Mahamana Express), it is up to the public upkeep the luxury element of the train.
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