Union Railway minister Suresh Prabhu on Sunday announced a new terminus for long-distance trains at Kalyan. Soon there will be 130 kmph superfast train from Mumbai to Goa and an all AC Humsafar train with modern facilities.
Yesterday he flagged off a new weekly train from Bandra Terminus to Gorakhpur. To strengthen the rail network he also promised Rs 40,000 crore for city projects and ensured speedy transit.
Prabhu was eager for the Kalyan Terminus and redevelopment of the Thane station. Sources said many outstation trains stop at Kalyan and when the terminus is built some of the trains could be terminated there once.
He said, “For those heading to Konkan or Goa, a superfast Tejas train will soon ensure you reach your destination in the fastest possible time.” The superfast train is expected early next year. This will be faster than Jan Shatabdi (speed 120 kmph). According to officials, Tejas will offer services like local cuisine, Wi-Fi, entertainment and TV screens on the back of each seat.
The Humsafar train will start from Mumbai but the rail minister did not disclose the destination. The train will have 16 AC III-tier coaches and two power cars. It has been targeted at middle-class passengers. The train will have facilities like GPS-based passenger information, CCTV, integrated Braille display for the visually impaired, laptop and mobile charging points, a smoke detection and suppression system and a high-quality exterior and interior design.
Ticket booking through non-smartphones
Yesterday Prabhu also announced soon users can use non-smartphones to book their tickets.
He announced, “We have already installed many points of sale (POS) machines at many suburban stations for easy transactions for commuters in the city. We are also introducing e-wallets and encouraging payment through mobile applications. We will work towards enabling commuters, who are not in possession of smartphones, to be able to book tickets via their phones.”
Currently, commuters are booking their tickets on the suburban network through smart cards, booking counters and mobile ticketing system.
Some terminuses have POS machines for passenger reservation system (PRS), train bookings and wallet facilities are on the card.
On Sunday, Prabhu also inaugurated the halt of fast trains on Central Railway network at Diva station. He expressed delight that Diva has finally got 24 fast train halts. Earlier, the station did not receive ‘more light’, so hoping for ‘more light’ he said, “I ask forgiveness from Diva commuters for keeping the station in dark for so long as opposed to its name. From Sunday, more fast trains can halt at Diva station and prove to be a respite for the increasing time of commute.”
The Union minister said the railway ministry is focusing on promoting ‘Digital India’ campaign by launching Wi-Fi services at many railway stations.
He also introduced other facilities and Wi-Fi services at Mumbai CST, Belapur, Thane, Panvel, Kurla, Borivli and Vashi stations, a FOB at Mankhurd, platform 7 at Dadar (WR) and escalators at Dadar (WR), Vasai Road and Bhayander.