New Delhi: The year 2018 has been extremely productive for the Railways with numerous developments on the mark sheet. The Railways tried their best to improve passengers’ experience by making their services better. A lot has changed in the past few years and the railway authorities are continuously introducing convenient services for passengers in order to make their train travel experience better.
Not only did they try to improve trains and railway stations but, they also worked on making train ticket booking, cancellation, refund, enquiry etc, smoother. Here are 10 developments that have added some stars to the national transporter
1. Hand-held terminal devices for TTEs: The railways have started providing TTEs hand-held terminal devices which will allow faster re-allocation of vacant berths and seats. These devices are connected directly to the railway server and will inform the TTE immediately in case their is cancellation or the passenger has failed to board the train. Based on the information received, vacant seats can be re-allocated much quicker and passengers with waitlisted tickets have a higher chance of getting their tickets confirmed.
Waitlisted passengers to have a higher chance of getting confirmed ticket
2. Trains revamped: Multiple trains have been revamped this year for better travel experience. Railways have installed over one lakh bio-toilets in trains till 2018 according to the government. These bio-toilets have not only helped the trains become more hygienic but, have also helped to keep the tracks clean. Several trains have been repainted with Madhubani paintings to promote local art and culture and at the same time beautify the coaches.
Several Express trains get makeover with Madhubani paintings
3. Railway Station revamp: Apart from trains, several railway stations have also been revamped with wall paintings and murals to give them a fresh look. This beautification of stations is a part of government’s Swacch Bharat initiative. According to railway minister Piyush Goyal, so far 65 railway stations have gotten a makeover this year.
65 railway stations revamped with wall paintings and murals: See pics here
4. Ramayana Express: The Railways launched Sri Ramayana Express earlier this year in November. The train covers key destinations associated with Lord Ram. During the journey, spanning across a total of 16 days, passengers will get to cover important destinations spread across India and Sri Lanka as well. For pilgrims, this train has been a gift and they can now visit important places mentioned in Ramayana.
Sri Ramayana Express flagged off! Check details here
5. Unreserved ticket booking through UTS app: Railways’ UTS app offers the facility of buying unreserved tickets online. Now passengers will not have to wait in long queues to book unreserved tickets. The process of availing tickets involves downloading the application and registration. After registration, the user is given a user-ID and password, using which one can log-in and book tickets.
Book unreserved tickets through UTS mobile app. Check details here
6. 1st aerodynamic engine: Indian Railways got its first aerodynamic and ergonomic engine this year. The engine produced by Chittaranjan Locomotive Works has the ability to run at a speed of 200 Kilometres per hour. It will be used to haul trains such as Rajdhani Express, Gatiman Express and Shatabdi Express. With its speed potential, it is capable of energy efficient and stable operation.
Indian Railways gets its first aerodynamic engine
7. E-catering service: Railways also introduced e-catering service using which a passenger can pick food from a wide range of menu during the journey. The person just has to log on to e-catering website or app and enter their PNR number and then choose the food from the menu. Passengers can also order food through call or SMS. E-catering offers both online payments as well as cash on delivery option. This service has helped passengers pick hygienic food from a wide range of restaurants and food chains.
8. Free Wi-Fi: Railways also started providing free Wi-Fi service in several trains and railway stations. So far only a few trains and railway stations have this free Wi-Fi service but Railways is planning to make sure the services are expanded to all the trains soon. The project aims to provide free Wi-Fi connectivity to passengers in moving trains as well as on railway stations.
400 railway stations get free Wi-Fi service!
9. Tejas Express makeover: Railways flagged off new swanky coaches of Tejas superfast express train this year on November 30. This second 23 coach Tejas will be operated between Chennai and Madurai. The coaches are fully air-conditioned and have modern amenities like bio-vacuum & touch-free toilets, smart windows, audio-video infotainment unit at every seat, GPS- based passengers information system and more.
Tejas Express gets swanky makeover: Check details here
10. India’s first engineless train: Train-18, India’s first self-propelled or engineless train was unveiled this year. The high-tech, energy efficient train developed indigenously by Integral Coach Factory, Chennai has 16 airconditioned coaches. The trial run of the train was successful and it has got clearance for commercial run. It hit a top speed of 180 km per hour during the trial run.
Top 10 features of India’s first engineless train ‘Train 18’