In a first-of-its-kind initiative, Indian Railways has started renovating the damaged and worn out coaches of all second-level trains.
The work started after the high-level Railway Board meeting, which held in New Delhi recently, implemented the second phase of ‘Project Swarna’.
With this move, all the damaged coaches irrespective of their class will soon get a new lease of life and will be offering commuters a better travelling experience.
While Railways is trying hard to offer customers the best journey by improving trains’ frequency, increasing speeds and reducing travel times, where the department hasn’t been able to catch up is the man-machine interface.
Yes, due to extreme complication involved in the maintenance of coaches, people usually don’t get the best ambiance while commuting in trains at least in the sleeper-class coaches.
In many occasions, commuters have complained that seats are worn out, mobile charger sockets don’t work, coaches vibrate a lot, rest rooms are dirty and the list goes on. The ‘Project Swarna’ was launched by the Railways, last year, to renovate such damaged coaches.
In the first phase, which concluded last year, high-level trains like Rajdhani and Shatabdi expresses got benefitted.
The country’s first Swarna Rajdhani (Train no 12313 New Delhi Sealdah Rajdhani Express) was launched in New Delhi in November 2017. Under the project, officials carried out works in 10 dimensions including coach interiors, toilets, on-board cleanliness, punctuality, catering, linen, staff behavior, security, on-board entertainment and real-time feedback.
For this programme, Ministry formed nine teams of two officers, each from the Railway Board, to monitor the progress of work under each dimension. Fourteen Rajdhani trains and 15 Shatabdi trains got renovated in the first phase of this project.
Sources from the department said it costs to the tune of Rs 35 lakh for Railways to renovate one train.
Following the high-level meeting, speaking to reporters, an official has said, “So far, only the Rajdhani and Shatabdi expresses came under ‘Project Swarna’, but now even the other trains will be renovated. We are in the process of identifying the most damaged trains in the country. They will be given the first preference. Once the coaches are revamped, passengers will surely get the best experience similar to that of any premium means of transportation.”
What is unique about the second phase of this project is its association with Tamilnadu. All this time, this scheme never reached the shores of Tamilnadu because there are no Rajdhani and Shatabdi expresses in the State.
But now, many trains in Tamilnadu are likely to get benefitted and will soon bear a fresh look. Speaking to News Today, a Railway official, said, “The identification process is currently on and we have also forwarded our recommendations. Officials will soon decide which trains will come under the second phase of this Swarna. Primary trains in Tamilnadu like Vaigai, Kanyakumari, Ananthapuri, Nellai, Pearlcity, Rockfort, Bluemountain, Pallavan and Pandian expresses are also under consideration.” Read More