Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu on Wednesday announced four new categories of trains, one for unreserved passengers and three for reserved ones, which will be operational in the next couple of months.
“The reason behind starting new train for unreserved passengers is to ensure that those belonging to the ‘Antodya class’ (very poor people) can also travel by train,” Mr. Prabhu said.
The Minister was speaking after a Memorandum of Understanding was inked between city-based National Academy of the Indian Railway (NAIR) and MS University of Baroda in the presence of Gujarat Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel.
“It is the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to provide travelling facility to this (Antodaya) category of people,” he added.
“The Antyodaya Express, a long-distance, fully unreserved, super-fast train service is to be introduced for the common man and it will operate on dense routes,” Mr. Prabhu added.
As per the Minister, the Railways will also add two to four ‘Deen Dayalu’ coaches to some long-distance trains for unreserved travel to enhance the carrying capacity.
“The other trains to be introduced are Humsafar — a fully third AC train. The Tejas category of trains will run at 130 km an hour with local cuisine, Wi-Fi and other amenities on board,” Mr. Prabhu added.
“The final category is UDAY (Utkrisht Double-Decker Air-conditioned Yatri), which will be overnight trains plying on the busiest routes to increase capacity by 40 percent,” said the Minister.
“It (introduction of four trains) is in an attempt to enhance railway services across the country. The Railway ministry does not want the state Chief Ministers to visit New Delhi on eve of the presentation of Railway Budget for including their State’s demand in the Budget,” he added.
“Now the Ministry has been approaching all the State governments to join hands with the Railways and jointly float companies to execute projects in their respective states,” the BJP leader said.
The special train between Vadodara and Ahmedabad is named as ‘Sanklap Express’, Mr. Prabhu said.
The train was flagged off on August 14, by Vadodara MP Ranjanben Bhatt and Gujarat Minister Rajendra Trivedi in the presence of senior railway officials.
As part of the MoU, railway probationary officers who are currently trained at NAIR, will study and obtain MBA degree from the University with specialisation in respective fields such as Finance, Human Resource Management, Production and Operations Management and Marketing Management.
The tie-up also enables MS University to select students at their end for MBA along with Railway officers. These students will also be awarded MBA degree in respective disciplines.