India has one of the world’s longest railway network systems with the trains ferrying around 23 million people every day. However, due to years of neglect and under-investment, we are still in the back concerning technology usage. While luxury trains like Maharaja Express serve the rich tourists, but the services for regular Indian travellers have been lagged.
Indian Railways is coming with new and state-of-art trains which will have glass-topped ceiling and an infotainment center to make the journey more enjoyable and refreshing.
The IRCTC Chairman and Managing Director AK Manocha said, “the primary objective behind such coaches is to promote tourism and woo upscale tourists from both India and abroad.”
The officials are looking forward to adding a touch of luxury to the railway as inspired by the Switzerland’s glass-topped trains. This was jointly designed by Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) & RDSO (Research, Designs and Standards Organisation), and Integral Coach Factory at Perambur. And it starts functioning from December.
Indian Railways is plans to test-run the three luxury coaches with newly implemented glass ceilings. One route in the Kashmir valley and other two in the Araku Valley, Visakhapatnam. In a bid to attract tourists, the coaches designed with extra leg space, chairs that can rotate and high-tech infotainment system.
“There are some trains with glass ceiling(s) in foreign countries like Switzerland, which enjoy the patronage of tourists. We believe such coaches would also give a fillip to rail tourism in India,” Manocha said.
He also added, “Work on the project started in 2015 with a series of meetings on the specification of the coach design. The first such coach is all set to roll out this month (October) itself. The coaches will be ultra-luxurious with rotatable chairs to provide the passengers with an aerial view through the partly glass ceiling.”
The latest attempt of Rs. 4crore per glass-topped coach is an expensive one for Indian Railways. But it is the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government to upgrade and modernize the rail system in India. The government is also planning to spend around Rs 1.21 lakh crore ($17billion) towards this implementation.
This year, Indian Railways has also announced the plans to offer Wifi hotspots at 100 stations via smartphones to improve its services. But these efforts seem to be mostly growing.