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Will India’s new line of luxury train coaches change the way we travel? Only time will tell

When it’s ‘Make in India’, it is better! That’s what the newest railways coaches have to say. Prototype of swanky railway coaches was showcased recently, and the feel-good factor of these coaches is so high that you have to see it to believe it.  The aesthetics run high with additional passenger amenities and plush interiors. And when 111 such trains roll over in June, airlines might have to face stiff competition!

luxury train coaches

The makeover is a part of the Indian Railways’ Make in India initiative. Before we start planning an exciting summer vacation on board these posh trains, let us have a quick look at some of the many special features: The panels are pastel coloured, the angular edges of the seats are done away with, the appealing toilet modules include controlled discharged water tap, an odour control and exhaust fans. Ergonomic ladders in all sleeper coaches will make reaching the upper berths easier. Windows will be covered by powered Venetian or roller blinds instead of the conventional curtains.

luxury train coaches

To some, the revamp may mean not much. With the average cost of upgrade of a non-AC coach at Rs 16 lakh, and Rs 22 lakh for an AC coach, the railways is likely to incur a huge cost. So how is the public sector going to raise money for the project? In all likelihood, the upcoming Railway Budget will have an answer. For all the swankiness and the facilities of the new trains, we are not ready for yet another price hike. The fares were jacked by 4.35% for all the AC Classes, including First Class, only last November.

luxury train coaches

We Indians, with an inherent sense of belonging, tend to treat public property as our own, and take home anything that we fancy. Vandalism in the coaches is rampant, so much so that the railways decided to chain the toilet’s steel mug to an iron handle, lest someone takes it away on the sly. We all are accustomed to those travellers who litter the coach floor with food waste, not really bothering about the predicament of their fellow passengers! Every now and then, the food served in the superfast Rajdhani/Shatabdi Express comes under severe criticism for being unpalatably bad! When such things come to our mind, we can only get sceptical about the success of high-end luxury trains.

Without basic sanitary sense, no amount of beautification can make these coaches thrive! The Make in India coaches will need the Clean India drive to retain its objective.

About the author

Abhishek

Abhishek

Writing and reporting on national security issues may arguably be one of the most difficult beats for a journalist, and my transition from a sports journalist to being TVON’s editor was definitely not without effort. I designed content for ESPN STAR Sports and extensively covered tournaments nationally and internationally. I was also an investigative journalist for ZEE’s India’s Most Wanted’. But I have been deeply impacted by rising threats to India’s national security, resulting in loss of numerous lives. This has both saddened me and helped in reshaping my thought process. I’m acutely aware of the changing geopolitical dynamics today and never afraid to speak my mind. My interface with policy makers and national security experts gives me perspective and insight, helping me provide context and statistics to stories about terrorism and national security policy.
On the side, I spend time with recovering addicts and help them heal.

He focuses on social affairs and the dynamics and theory of how people receive and react to different forms of information on a variety of subjects.

He loves exploring hidden beaches in South East Asia, counseling and spending time with recovering addicts. He spends most of his TV time on watching National Geographic and old episodes of ‘Friends’.

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