Passengers travelling on iconic Chennai Central- Mysuru – Chennai Central Shatabdi Express can hope for a new experience from Friday with the Southern Railway launching a new high-end ‘Anubhuti’ coach on the busy route.
The coach made at a cost of nearly Rs 3 crore by Integral Coach Factory (ICF), Perambur, exclusively for Shatabdi Express across the country, would cater to passengers with aeroplane-like facilities.
A. Suresh, coaching depot officer, Basin bridge, said that the swanky Anubhuti coach will have executive seating with infotainment screens attached to every seat and a user-friendly snack table and comfortable seat-reclining facility.
Executive passengers who frowned over touching facilities in train toilets also can limber up, as the toilets of the Anubhuti coach are equipped with hands-free faucet system. “The doors of the coach are automated and sensor-enabled. The doors will offer a star-hotel like an experience to the passengers,” A. Suresh added.
Other USPs (unique selling proposition) of the Anubhuti coach are infotainments screens and call bell facilities. “If a passenger needs someone to attend, he can press the call bell on top of his head. An attendee will serve his call like the ones in an aeroplane. All the seats of the coach are also attached to infotainment screens,” Suresh said.
Even though the passengers will not be allowed to insert a pen-drive or SD card and watch videos of their own, Southern Railway is mulling to buy copyrights of some Hollywood and Bollywood films. “We have installed a centralised hard-disk in the coach. For now, videos of Southern Railway (infotainment videos) will be available. More videos will be added soon,”he added.
Meanwhile, the infotainment screen, in its music menu has audio files of Prime Minister Modi’s ‘Mann Ki Baat’ speeches.
Meanwhile, the Southern Railway, in a press release said that the coach would be augmented to Chennai Central- Mysuru – Chennai Central Shatabdi Express from Friday and bookings are open. Although the train numbers are 12007 and 12008, passengers have to use 22007 and 22008 to book tickets in Anubhuti coach.
It is also learnt that ICF had manufactured 10 Anubhuti coaches for Northern Railway. “Of the 10 coaches, 2 have been allotted to the Southern Railway. One of the two coaches will be augmented to Chennai Central- Mysuru – Chennai Central Shatabdi Express. The other coach will be added later,” Suresh said.
Patronage high for Shatabdi Express
Connecting capitals of two states, the Shatabdi Express has witnessed overwhelming patronage during 2017.
Even though Bengaluru Express, Brindavan Express, Kaveri Express and Lalbhag Express are running between Chennai and Bengaluru, the Shatabdi Express on either route witnessed more than 100 per cent patronage across the year, according to a Southern Railway official.