Do you remember during your childhood train journeys with the Indian Railways, how people would run helter-skelter as the train chugged onto the platform? As you held on to your parent’s hand tightly, you might then have seen the travellers running, some clamouring faster than others, to get into the compartments.
If you were like me, you’d assume everyone had a designated place and would get to their seat immediately. However, at that young age, I couldn’t be further from the truth. Many of those running were unreserved passengers, trying their luck with just a square inch to rest their tired selves in the train.
Well, fast forward to today when these unreserved passengers or general class passengers, might have some relief! The Railways has announced, that around 700 unreserved Deen Dayalu coaches will be added to the national transporter’s fleet by the end of 2018.
So, what are these coaches?
Introduced by the Railways in 2016, these coaches are targeted at passengers who mostly travel on general coaches, and don’t spend much on travelling. These are touted to improve the travelling experience of those passengers. These coaches have mobile charging points, bottled drinking water and plush seats.
They also have cushioned luggage rakes, additional handholds in the doorway area, coat hooks near longitudinal luggage racks, bio-toilets with polymer floor coating, water level indicators and toilet occupation indication displays.
Regarding safety, these coaches are fully loaded–they come with fire extinguishers with anti-theft arrangements.
From April 2016 to Feb 2017, 23 pairs of mail and express trains, were given 141 Deen Dayalu coaches.
The Deen Dayalu coaches aren’t the first for unreserved travellers. The Antyodaya Express, introduced in 2017, has several amenities for passengers who use the general class. Paintless and fully loaded, these coaches are a treat to the eyes.
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Until now, unreserved passengers travelled in cramped and uncomfortable situations, but the introduction of new coaches with better amenities might relieve their discomfort!
(Edited by Shruti Singhal)