A swanky new superfast train connecting Delhi and Varanasi was flagged of by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on January 22. It is called that Mahamana Express, which will cover the distance between the two cities in 14 hours. The name of the train was chosen by the Minister of State for Railways, Manoj Sinha, after the name of Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya who was the co-founder of the Benaras Hindu University. He was popularly known as Mahamana or a “great human being”.
The Prime Minister congratulated the Ministry of Railways for the train, and also said that this model will be soon replicated elsewhere in the country.
This is the first train to have the new refurbished coaches made at the Carriage Rehabilitation Workshop of the Railways in Bhopal. The project to redesign interiors of passenger coaches began in 2011. The first rake to be finalised as ‘model rake’ by the workshop, has been converted into this train. Here are five things to know about it:
1. All the coaches in the train are equipped with many modern facilities.
These include ergonomically designed ladders for climbing to upper berths, snack tables for side berths, windows with powered venetian blinds and roller blinds, LED lights as berth indicators, LED reading lights, fire extinguishers in all coaches and electrically operated chimney in the pantry car. Additionally, the toilets have platform washbasins, bigger mirrors, odour control system, exhaust fans and dustbins.
2. The train will run from January 25.
It is scheduled to run thrice a week from Varanasi on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. It will leave Varanasi at 6:35 pm and will reach Delhi at 8:25 am the next day. It will depart from New Delhi at 6:35 pm every Monday, Wednesday and Friday and will reach Varanasi at 8:25 am the next day. It will stop at Ghaziabad, Moradabad, Bareilly, Lucknow, Sultanpur and Jaunpur City stations.
3. It will be the first train to travel on the electrified section between Moradabad-Ghaziabad.
4. The basic fare to travel in the train will be 15 percent higher than normal fares.
The fare has been increased because of the improved interiors. However, it will remain the same for second-class (unreserved) or general class coaches. This is because the number of passengers allowed in those coaches has not been restricted to the number of seats. So an increase in cost would be unfair.
5. The train has 18 coaches.
These include one First AC, one AC II Tier, nine sleeper class, four general class and two second class-cum-luggage van coaches.