As the officials of Ambala rail division showcased the new features, which have been added to the coaches of the Chandigarh–New Delhi Shatabdi Express (12046/45), during an interaction at the Chandigarh Railway Station on Saturday, division’s railway manager Dinesh Chand Sharma, however, said the services and facilities still remained the same for passengers.
“Only the interior has been modified to present a better look. We have also emphasised on the training and behaviour of the staff. The entire exercise has been done to improve the passengers’ satisfaction,” Sharma said.
This is the only train that has been upgraded till now by the Ambala Division. Only the interior has been made to look better by spending ₹2.2 lakh.
Divisional Railway Manager (DRM) of the Ambala Division, Dinesh Chand Sharma, said, “It has been done to improve the passenger’s satisfaction. Only the interior has been modified to give it a better look.”
Gold standard features that have been added include Vinyl wrapped interiors in doorway, gangways, toilets, luggage rack panels, ceiling, destination boards and coach no. plates; improved toilet fittings; improved signages/posters and anti graffiti coating.
No new/upgraded facilities
No new facilities have been provided and no upgradation in the facilities has been done by the unit. The speed and timetable of the train will remain the same. Sharma said, “No upgradation has been done in facilities but now the train will look cleaner.”
He further added that the unit will go for modification of more trains in future. He also said that the changes will be done jurisdiction wise.
Passenger wish upgradation of facilities
When asked about how the passengers feel, they said that it looked a little better; however, the railway department should also work on the facilities.
A passenger, Avtar Kaur, said, “Shatabdi used to be really good when it had started but now the jerks take the comfort away. Further, the foot rests are of no use and provide no comfort.”
She further said, “Sajawat ton ki laina, washroom dian kundian tan tuttian hundian ne (What is the purpose of decorating when the toilet latches are broken)”, suggesting that the officials should work more on the facilities.
Another passenger, Nitya, said, “Though the interior looks better but the comfort is not as much as needed. Change will reflect itself if facilities are changed.”
Adding more coaches when airport closes
Chandigarh International Airport is to close down for two weeks in February. It is being done due to upgrade work of the runway.
Sharma said, “More coaches will be added in eth trains, and we will try to accommodate as many passengers as we can. This will depend on the waiting list.” He mentioned that there would probably be no need to add a new train.
Safety and security at the station
When asked about the safety and security at the railway station and the lack of door frame metal detector (DFMD), the officials said that they will look into the matter. They said, “We will speak to the Government Railway Police (GRP) and Railway Protection Force (RPF).”
The most recent train to have got a makeover is the Chandigarh-Delhi Shatabdi that has been modified under the Swarn project and is now totally fire-proof.
There is one executive coach and nine other chair cars in the Shatadbi 12046/12045 which was revamped under the same scheme.
As part of the makeover, 10 key components have been taken under consideration which include punctuality, cleanliness, linen, coach interiors, toilets, catering, staff behavior, security, entertainment, housekeeping and lastly, feedback.
Around ₹2.5 lakh has been spent for each coach and each compartment aisle of the new train has been marked with fluorescent strips for guidance and safety of passengers, similar to that of an airline.
With renovated interiors, upgraded toilets and automatic hygiene-control systems, this Swarn Shatabdi is said to be the best in terms of hygiene and security.
To top it off, installation of CCTV cameras along with an increase in the number of Railway Protection Force (RPF) personnel, Swarn has got us a full package.