Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: Imagine being ushered into a train by a hostess who presents you a rose bud as soft music plays in the background.
It will soon be a reality, with the Railways deciding to introduce train hostesses on soon to be launched Delhi-Agra Gatiman Express, the first train in India to run at a speed of 160 kmph.
While Shatabdi takes 120 minutes to cover the 200 km distance, Gatiman Express proposes to complete the journey in 105 minutes.
Gearing up to launch the Gatiman Express next month, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu will announce special features of the first semi-high speed train in the country when he presents the Rail Budget on February 25.
The train will have a high-power emergency braking system, automatic fire alarm, GPS-based passenger information system and sliding doors in the coaches. There will also be live TV service as part of infotainment.
Like flights, there would be hostesses on the train and catering will also match the standard of airliners, he said.
According to Railway sources, since the fare will be 25 per cent higher than Shatabdi Express, catering services in Gatiman Express will also be better.
Both Indian and continental cuisine will be served.
Passengers will have an assortment of food to choose from.
There will be wholewheat upma, mini dosa, Kanjeevaram idli, fresh cut fruits, aloo kulcha with swiss roll, roasted dry fruit and chicken roll. Chicken sausages with Spanish egg white omelette and date walnut slice cakes will also be served in bone china crockery.
The fare for chair car in fully air-conditioned Gatiman Express has been fixed at Rs. 690, while a passenger will be required to spend Rs. 1,365 for travelling Executive Class. In Delhi-Agra Shatabadi Express, the chair car fare is Rs. 540 and Rs. 1,040 for Executive Class.
Equipped with a 5,400 HP electric locomotive, the train will have 12 coaches. While Shatabdi takes 120 minutes to cover the 200 km distance, Gatiman Express proposes to complete the journey in 105 minutes.
Indian Railway plans to roll out such trains on 9 more routes including Kanpur-Delhi, Chandigarh-Delhi, Hyderabad-Chennai, Nagpur-Bilaspur, Goa-Mumbai and Nagpur-Secunderabad.