Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu announced four new categories of trains on August 17. These include three categories for passengers with reservations and one unreserved train. The trains will be operational within the next couple of months.
One of these trains is the Antyodaya Express — a long-distance, fully unreserved, super fast train service that will operate on dense traffic routes.
The Minister told PTI that the reason behind starting a new train service for unreserved passengers is to ensure that those belonging to underprivileged backgrounds, or the ‘Antodya class’, can use the services of Indian Railways.
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In addition, Railways will also add two to four Deen Dayalu coaches in trains that cover long distances so their carrying capacity can be enhanced. These are unreserved coaches with facilities like bio toilets, mobile charging points, cushioned luggage racks, coat hooks, potable drinking water, etc.
The other three categories include the UDAY, Humsafar and Tejas trains.
Humsafar Express is proposed to be a fully air conditioned 3-tier service for reserved passengers. The coaches in these trains will have facilities like charging points for mobile phones and laptops. They will also have LED bulbs, CCTV cameras, fire and smoke detection systems, bio-toilets, and more. UDAY (Utkrisht Double-Decker Air-conditioned Yatri) will be an overnight train service. It is being introduced to cover the busiest routes across the country and to increase the carrying capacity of trains by 40%. Tejas trains will run at the speed of 130 km/hour. On board services will include entertainment, local cuisine and WiFi connection.
The Railway Minister made these announcements in Vadodara while speaking after a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the city-based National Institute of Indian Railways (NAIR) and MS University of Baroda. The new MoU states that all railway probationary officers will study and obtain a degree in MBA from Baroda University.