A little over a week ago, the Mahanama Express was in the news as it was flagged-off from Varanasi by PM Narendra Modi. The reason behind the hype around this new train was not because it was being flagged-off by PM Modi, but because it is the first train from Indian Railways to feature new state of the art interiors.
Indian Railways began working on the project to renovate the interiors of passenger coaches in 2011. After inputs from thousands of regular passengers and extensive research, the team at Carriage Rehabilitation Workshop of the Railways in Bhopal finally managed to design and build a “Model Rake“, which was inspected by none other than Mr Suresh Prabhu earlier this month.
Internally code-named “World Class interiors” – below is the detailed list of updates which the new Mahanama Express is equipped with:
Toilet:- Bigger mirror, platform washbasin, controlled discharged water tap, odour control system, exhaust fan, LED lights, dustbin inside the toilet
Ladder:- Ergonomically designed Ladders for climbing up to upper berths provided in all coaches.
Side berths:- Snack tables provided for side berth passengers also with innovative design side lower berth arrangement.
Windows:- Windows with powered venetian blind and roller blind instead of conventional curtains.
LED:- LED based berth indicators for reserved coaches, and all other illumination
Power:- More charging points for passengers
Safety: Fire extinguisher in all coaches
Chimney: Electrically operated chimney in Pantry Car
Impressed with the Model Rake, the officials gave green signal to implement these new coaches on board the Mahanama Express which runs from Varanasi to Delhi, three days a week. The cost of upgrading non-AC coach is about INR 16 lakh and that of an AC coach is about INR 22 lakh. In order to compensate for the investment, Govt. announced to increase fare of Mahanama Express by 15%.
Increase in fare and facilities offered, failed to guarantee the cleanliness which should have been maintained by passengers on-board the train. A week into service, the condition of Mahanama Express shames us all. Taps have been stolen, seats have been dirtied, toilets have been soiled, trash under seats, as seen in the images below:
After a week into service
When brand New
First journey documented
via – bhaskar