KAPURTHALA: Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu may be announcing the Railway’s premium Tejas brand to more routes than the three proposed earlier – the latest being Mumbai-Surat – but not a single Tejas rake is fully ready as per reports.
Replying to a query on how many rakes had been made so far and whether any routes would be commissioned by March 31, 2017, Railway Coach Factory, Kapurthala, General Ganager R.P.Nibariya replied in the negative. “No Tejas so far from any side” was his one-line reply. RCF Kapurthala has been mandated with manufacturing three Tejas rakes for the financial year 2016-17 to be deployed on the New Delhi- Chandigarh, Lucknow-Anand Vihar and CST-Madgaon-Karmali routes. These three routes were announced by Prabhu at a Railway Board function in New Delhi on September 29, 2016.
While one coach is ready for trial, the other 19 coaches of the first rake are at various stages of manufacturing at the RCF, said officials. As per the RCF schedule finalised in mid-2016, 60 Tejas coaches were to be made. A query to Railway Ministry chief spokesperson Anil Saxena on whether the trial of the lone Tejas coach had started did not elicit a reply.
Aimed at the business traveller who is ready to pay extra for a better and faster ride, Prabhu, in his Budget speech on February 25, 2016, called the Tejas ‘the future of train travel in India’.
“Operating at speeds of 130 kmph and above, it will offer onboard services such as entertainment, local cuisine, WiFi etc through one service provider for ensuring accountability and improved customer satisfaction,” Prabhu had said in his Parliament speech then.
Features of the Tejas Rake
- Ergonomic seating with improved cushioning and upholstery
- Automatic doors, Infotainment system with onboard WiFi, along with vending machines
- GPS-based passenger information display system and passenger announcement system
- Dust-sealed gangways, fire and smoke detection system
- CCTV system
- Concealed LED lighting with adjustable reading lights
- Integrated Braille displays
- Bio-vacuum toilets, with sensorised taps, flushing system, hand driers for touch-less experience of toilet use