Indian Railways is looking to unveil new services in the new year, as part of which passengers will be treated to cuisines curated by celebrity chef Sanjeev Kapoor, coupled with ultra modern facilities to make it a world class journey.
"Despite challenges, we undertook several initiatives in 2016 which will bear fruits later. In 2017, we are looking to progress on the many new initiatives we have launched," Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu has said.
"Recently we launched Hamsafar Express. Before that Mahamanya and Gatimaan Express were also launched. Tejas will be launched in 2017," Prabhu said.
Redefining passengers' travel experience, Tejas coaches will be equipped with 22 new features, including entertainment LCD screens for each passenger along with headphones sockets.
The LCD screens will also be used for disseminating passenger-related information and safety instructions. Quality catering service will be a part of Tejas fares like Rajdhani and Duronto trains and railways is considering an agreement with renowned chef Sanjeev Kapoor to finalise the menu shortly.
Railways has undertaken many steps in 2016 which are expected to bear fruit in 2017. Giving an example, Prabhu said, "When you plant a seed, you do not see the tree for three years. But suddenly you see sprouts, then the tree comes out and it grows fast. Exactly that is going to happen in railways."
Tejas train will be equipped with many modern facilities some of which are the first for Indian Railways. Besides, choicest cuisine and wi-fi facility, there will be toilet engagement boards on the train whose interior colour scheme will match the exterior to give Tejas passengers the feel of world class travel.
Prabhu said, "What we are doing today are all structural fundamental initiatives which will create infrastructure. We are launching ERP which will create new efficiency standards, new opportunities in addition to the accounting reforms which we have started this year."
"2016 was a year of several initiatives and also consolidation and 2017 will be completion of so many initiatives we have started," he added.
Detailing the whole gamut of activities in the rail sector since he took over the reins, Prabhu said, "2015 was the beginning, 2016 was taking the next step. 2017 will be the year of consolidation and 2018 will be the year of seeing huge benefits, the real year when the benefits will start coming out."