INDIA's railway minister, Suresh Prabhu, announced in the 2016-2017 railway budget a slew of measures to modernise and improve India’s railway infrastructure and facilities.
Among the improvements put forward are the launch of Tejas, high-speed trains that will operate at speeds of 130 kmph and offer onboard services including entertainment and Wi-Fi connectivity, overnight double-decker trains to service busy routes, as well as a 'Clean My Coach' service for passengers on SMS request.
Train services will also be launched to connect the states of Mizoram and Manipur to the rest of the country and Wi-Fi will be extended to 400 railway stations. Within the next three months, e-ticketing facilities can be expected as well.
Agents interviewed expressed enthusiasm over some of the new plans. “We are delighted with strategic initiatives like Asha circuit trains to connect important pilgrim centres in the country, as well as the introduction of Tejas,” said Madhavan Menon, managing director, Thomas Cook India.
Subhash Goyal, president, Indian Association of Tour Operators, said: “We welcome the idea to adopt Japan’s high-speed bullet trains on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad route. We need such trains for all major tourist routes.”