With an aim to improveÂ the facilities, provide convenience and cater to the needs of passengers belonging to different economic spectra, Minister of Railways Shri Suresh Prabhu announced four new categories of trains. These new categories of trains are Antyodaya Express, Tejas Express, Hamsafar Express and UDAY Express. Out of these four categories of new trains, AntyodayaÂ will be a completelyÂ unreserved train while the other three will have fully reserved coaches. Shri Suresh Prabhu said that the trains will be operational in next few months.Â Currently Indian Railways operates various categories of trains such as Rajdhani Express, Shatabdi Express, Duronto Express, Janashatabdi Express, Garib Rath Express and Sampark Kranti Express to name a few.
Let us know about the four new categories of trains that have been announced by Shri Suresh Prabhu.
- Antyodaya Express
These will be totally unreserved, long-distance superfast trains which will cater to the needs ofÂ the poorest section of the society. These trains will be composed of unreserved general class compartments.Â Most of these general unreserved coaches will be the newly designed Deendayalu coaches with comfortable seats, bio-tiolets, water-vending machines, LED lighting and higher number of mobile charging points. These trains will operate on highly dense trunk routes such as Kolkata-Delhi, Patna-Delhi, Mumbai-Delhi, Howrah-Mumbai etc.
- Hamsafar Express
Hamsafar Express will be a fully 3 AC train. These trains will be superfast express trains with only 3-tier Airconditioned coaches, catering to the needs of middle class passengers. Since the train will be made of 19 coaches , all of them 3-tier AC, it will be a great blessing to the middle class of India, which wants to travel in 3AC but is not able to get tickets since most of the express trains have only a couple ofÂ three-tier AC coachesÂ while the 3-tier AC of Rajdhani Express is costlier. These trains will also run on long-distance dense routes. The Hamsafar Express trains will have the state-of-art LHB coaches manufactured at Kapurthala which are capable of 160 km/hr and can run at 130 km/hr on selected routes.Â All the coaches will be equipped with bio-toilets.
- Tejas Express
Tejas Express will be luxury trains plying on short, busy routes. They will have AC Chair Cars and Executive Chair Cars. The train will have Wi-Fi on board, delicious local cuisines and entertainment systems. All the coaches will be equipped with smoke detection and fire suppression unit, bio-toilets, CCTV cameras and tea/coffee-vending machines. These trains will have LHB coaches and run at 130 km/hr.
- UDAY Express
UDAY, an acronym for Utkrisht Double-decker Air-conditioned YatriÂ , will be double-decker trains plying on medium-distanceÂ routes, which are the busiest throughout the year. These will be overnight trains and increase the passenger carrying capacity of the busiest routes by about 40 %.
Shri Suresh Prabhu also added that wherever possible, the current superfast trains will be gradually augmented with 2-4 Deendayalu coaches to enhance the comfort-level of poor passengers traveling in unreserved coaches. These trains will cater to the needs of all the sections of the society, increase the level of comfort andÂ enhance the passenger carrying capacity of the busiest routes significantly.
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(The author is a passionate railway enthusiast whose hobby, passion and love is railways. He keenly follows the developments in the fields of railways all over the world. Currently pursuing his Ph.D. from Germany)