Passenger amenity projects are already in the pipeline. It also proposes 17 new premium trains

Mumbai : Railway Minister Mallikarjun Kharge, while presenting his maiden Interim Railway Budget 2014 on Wednesday, had nothing new for Mumbai apart from the passenger amenity projects that are already in the pipeline. The Budget presented in the Lok Sabha proposed 17 new premium trains and amenities for the suburban local passengers, some of which have been stuck over technical glitch.

The Budget has provisions for easing the commuting experience of the suburban passengers like ticketing on mobile phones in the unreserved segments for the suburban as well as long-distance passengers.

The project had been stuck in the pipeline due to certain drawbacks. Officials from the Centre for Railway Information System (CRIS) are working to prohibit the misuse of the system. An official from CRIS said, “The mobile phone can be passed from one person to another. The passenger has to get the ticket printed from the kiosk installed at the station.” The project was aimed at reducing the queue, but failed to serve the purpose.

In the next four months, there will be Cash/Coin Ticket Vending Machine (CTVM). One such machine has already been installed at Chhattrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) and two other at Churchgate. These machines are rarely used and often shut.

An official from the Central Railway said, “These machines are aimed at the one-time users who do not have ATVM cards. A passenger can directly put in cash or coin and get a ticket for the required destination.”

In the Budget, 17 new premium trains with dynamic fares were announced. The premium trains that started between Mumbai and Delhi proved to be a major hit and paved the way for 17 more. “Such dynamic pricing was widely appreciated by users and media and gave increased earnings of about 48 per cent as compared to Rajdhani services on the same sector. We are considering operation of this scheme on a larger scale,” said Railway Minister Mallikarjun Kharge. There will also be 39 new express trains, 10 passenger trains, four MEMU and three DMU trains.

There is also provision for Jan-Ahaar outlets for Janta Meals. 51 Jan-Ahaar outlets and 61 passenger escalators will be installed at stations in the next four months in addition to the 48 existing escalators. Also there will be information display system in important trains to indicate stations and arrival time. The online booking of meals for selected route stations and e-forwarding note and electronic transmission of railway receipts for freight customers was also announced.

Considering the frequent instances of fire in the trains in the past, there will be steps taken for the improvements of the safety measures. High-speed smoke detection devices, which are already installed in two Rajdhani trains on a trial basis, will be installed in AC coaches of all trains.

Trains starting from Mumbai

l Mumbai-Howrah AC Exp (Bi-weekly) via Nagpur, Raipur
l Mumbai-Patna AC Exp (Bi-weekly) via Khandwa, Itarsi, Manikpur
l Nizamuddin-Madgaon AC Exp (Bi-weekly) via Kota, Vasai Road
l Bandra-Amritsar Exp (Weekly) Via Kota, New Delhi, Ambala
l Bandra (T)-Katra Exp (Weekly) via Kota, New Delhi, Ambala
l Mumbai-Gorakhpur Exp (Bi-weekly) via Khandwa, Jhansi, Kanpur
l Bandra (T)-Lucknow Jn Exp (Weekly) via Kota, Mathura, Kasganj
l Bhavnagar – Bandra Exp (Weekly) via Ahmedabad
l Hubli – Mumbai Exp (weekly) via Bijapur, Sholapur
l Kanpur – Bandra (T) Exp (Weekly) via Kasganj, Mathura, Kota
l Mumbai – Chennai Exp (Weekly) via Pune, Gulbarga, Wadi
l Mumbai – Gorakhpur Exp (Weekly) via Gonda, Balrampur, Barhani (after gauge conversion)
l Mumbai – Karmali AC Exp (Weekly) via Roha

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