India's supreme semi-high speed intercity electric train Vande Bharat Express or Train 18 now has air stewards on board, just like airplanes do.
The pilot project was implemented by the Indian Railways with an aim to provide flight-like hospitality and experience to passengers onboard. The project will be supervised by the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC). The service has already commenced in the Vande Bharat Express. As per reports, the IRCTC has hired over 34 trained air stewards for enhancing the overall travel experience for the passengers. The crew has been hired for a duration of six months for a trial service. The Indian Railways will take a call on whether to implement the services in other trains if this step turns out to become a success.
Talking to the media, IRCTC Spokesperson Siddhartha Singh said:
"The IRCTC is working hard to provide supreme services to passengers".
According to Singh, a licensee caterer pays Rs Rs 8,000-10,000 per month to the person who serves food onboard to passengers. Even so, IRCTC has set a budget almost 2-3 times as much for better services. Earlier, in February, Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagged off Vande Bharat's maiden journey, from New Delhi to Varanasi. The train is designed and developed by Chennai-based Railway Production Unit, the Integral Coach Factory. It took just 18 months to build the train which also includes the in-house design and manufacture, computer modelling and working etc.
Also, the train is home-made as a part of the 'Make in India' initiative. It has a regenerative braking system in the coaches which can easily save upto 30 percent of electrical energy. This train is comprised of as many as 16 coaches including the driving coach with around 44 seats and 78 seats installed in trailer coaches. Two specially-abled-friendly toilets have also been installed in the train and there is a space for baby care along with special pantry units.
Moreover, CCTV cameras on both the sides of driving cab have been installed in order to help the driver to monitor the movement of passengers on the platform before closing the doors and hitting the tracks. It has aerodynamically designed driver cabins at both ends for quicker turn-around at destinations. The fully air-conditioned train offers better passenger comfort and safety, as all equipment are fixed under the carriage, so that more space is available onboard, officials said.
(With agency Inputs)