The railways will showcase its first ‘Swarn’ train (gold standard) on Monday. The New Delhi-Kathgodam Shatabdi Express will be the first to be launched as part of the railways’ ‘Swarn’ project which aims to renovate India’s premium trains, including Rajdhanis and Shatabdis.
From new on-board entertainment to trolley service for catering, new coach interiors and clean toilets with automatic doors, these elite trains are being upgraded at a cost of Rs 50 lakh each.
Security systems will also be enhanced by installing CCTVs and deputing more RPF personnel. Punctuality of these trains has also been identified as a focus area. Around 30 trains — 15 Rajdhanis and 15 Shatabdis — will get a complete overhaul at a cost of Rs 25 crore under the project launched during the tenure of Suresh Prabhu as railway minister.
While planning a complete makeover of the Kathgodam Shatabdi, Northern Railways focused on three key areas — aesthetics, hygiene and entertainment.
Interiors have been redone with vibrant vinyl wrapping and the compartment aisle has been marked with fluorescent strips for guidance of travellers. Anti-graffiti coating has been done on the exteriors.
Toilets have been upgraded with features such as dustbins and personal seat covers. Automatic odour and hygiene control systems have also been installed in all coaches. Disposable headrest covers have been provided for executive class while all coaches will have integrated Braille signage.
Passengers will be able to enjoy HD streaming through Wi-fi hotspots. “This will be the first ‘gold standard’ train of the Railways. I urge people to cooperate in upkeep of various amenities,” a senior official said.