As soon as a person decides to perform a railway journey, there become certain essential amenities for which he is entitled. This is the most important talked about subject at highest level of Railway Management and popularly called Passenger Amenities. It is important for every passenger to know what he is entitled and can essentially demand from Railway Management. Following items qualifies as passenger amenities in ticketing and non-ticketing area
- Neat and clean entrance with facilities to get down from city transport
- Parking facility for two and four wheeler
- Facility to buy ticket within reasonable time, display of the cost of ticket before a person decides to buy
- Display of train time-table and current running position
- Waiting hall
- Signage for easy identification and direction towards the facilities.
- Catering stalls with quality food item and fixed price
- Waiting hall for different class of passenger
- Clean Toilet
- Covered shed
- Supply of ordinary and cold water
- Passenger announcement system about the expected arrival of train
- Wheel chair for physically disabled persons with ease of entry to toilets and steps.
- Porter facility for carrying baggage or self pushed trolley
- Lighting and ventilation
- Coach guidance system
- Reservation chart with Train No. and Class displayed prominently. Waiting list chart is the most sought after to check the status and shall be prominently.
Passenger amenities inside the train varies depending class of travel
The most important class of travel is unreserved and second class sleeper travel and therefore, minimum passenger amenities plays an important role for Indian Railways. Demand of unreserved coaches is more as compared to numbers offered. This is mainly due to the following reason
- Last minute travel plan
- High waiting list of reserved coaches
- Cost difference between reserved and unreserved travel is very high
Uncertainly of confirmation of waiting list ticket
This results in very high level of packing of passenger per coach even for travel of more than 1000Km going up to the level of 300 passenger/coach. It is almost impossible to think of minimum passenger amenities in such a scenario. The passenger keeps on sitting at his seat waiting for stopping station to meet his basic needs of toilet, drinking water, food etc. Therefore, it is important to consider the passenger amenities for unreserved coaches including that provided at platform.
Minimum basic passenger amenities thus are
- Ventilation to cater for 300 passenger per coach
- Garbage collection
- Redesigned toilets for such a large occupancy with pay and use toilet at end of the platform for 10 minute train stopping station
- Drinking water tap at each end of the platform as unreserved coaches are attached at both ends of the train
- Serving Janta Food near these coaches
- Large number of mobile charging points otherwise temporary connections are drawn from coach wiring
Reserved Second Class Sleeper Coach
Number of passenger per coach is limited to 72 and thus passenger amenities shall conveniently be provided in the coach itself. Important passenger ameniteie are
- Illumination and ventilation
- Coach and toilet cleaning
- Mobile Charging
- Food Service at the seat
- Facility to chain the luggage with the seat
- Numbering of seat and prominent display
- Wash basin at both end of the coach to reduce the occupancy of toilet
Air Conditioned 2 and 3 tier Coach
Number of passenger per 3 and 2 tier AC coach is limited to 64 and 46 respectively. Fare structure is of AC coach is much higher and certainly a better claim for amenities. These are
- Comfortable controlled temperature and humidity in the coach
- Supply of clean bed roll
- Emergency Lighting – Even though power supply for illumination is from storage battery sufficiency to provide illumination for about 5-6 hours then what is the purpose of this emergency light. During any untoward accident involving Ac coach, there is possibility of disconnection of battery supply likely to damage during derailment, it is very difficult for the passenger to find escape route from the coach. It is for this reason emergency lights are provided which will come into service as soon battery supply is disconnected.
- Clean coach and toilet along with garbage disposal bin
- Display of berth number
- Reading light so that co-passenger are not disturbed
- Mobile charging facility
- Facility to wake the passenger during night time
- Catering service at the seat
- Facility to tie the luggage by a chain
Air Conditioned I AC coach
Number of passenger per I AC coach are just 24 with almost double the fare as compared to II AC Coach. Passenger is entitled for following additional amenities
- Bell to call attendant
- Attendent to ease bedding for the passenger
- Attendant to help senior citizen to carrying luggage to platform
- Attendant to help in calling TTE/Catering staff
- To provide a user friendly, fast web site containing all information to assist passenger
- Fare structure
- Availability of seat/berth
- Availability of trains between two points
- Accurate Train running position
- Schedule running of trains
Automation for Passenger Amenities under different stages of implementation
- Automatic Ticket Vending Machine
- Purchase of Ticket through Mobile phone
- Train inquiry through mobile has been introduced in some of Indian Railway network. Read more on http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/news-by-industry/transportation/railways/real-time-status-of-central-railway-trains-on-mobiles/articleshow/24695642.cms
Indian Railways shall explore the possibilities of introduction the following automation in the field of passenger amenities
- SMS about the status of train if it is running more than one hour late.
- Facility for on-line reservation for short distance en-route journey after the start of the train from originating station
- Magnetic bar check in facility and wait listed passenger accommodated before the departure of the train
- Facility for ordering food through mobile and serving at the stopping station
Read more on how to make your train journey comfortable, safe and secure.
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