Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will on Sunday flag off the Humsafar train that will ply between Gorakhpur and Delhi`s Anand Vihar terminus from Kushinagar, which is expected to be on the Indian Railways' time table from December.
As per the news agency PTI, the train was scheduled to be flagged off in November, but it was delayed owing to various reasons, including the recent train accident in Kanpur.
This tri-weekly train will have several new features, including LED screen display to show information about stations, train speed and will have announcement system as well.
Other facilities are vending machines for tea, coffee and milk, hot and refrigerated pantry and other facilities in each cabin, ports for charging electronic devices such as mobiles and laptops.
CCTV, GPS-based passenger information system, fire and smoke detection and suppression system with every berth are some of the features on Humsafar trains.
Besides, Humsafar will have improved aesthetics with new interior and exterior colour scheme presenting a futuristic look with the use of vinyl sheets similar to Maharaja Express coaches. It will also have integrated braille displays.
Its berths will be more comfortable than the previous three-tier AC sleeper rakes, bio toilets in compartments and the exterior of coaches will have a futuristic look with the use of Vinyl sheets.
Safety measures in compartments such as introduction of smoke alarms and CCTV cameras have also been given in the coaches.
However, the fare in the Humsafar train would be 20 percent more than the normal trains and are likely to have dynamic pricing in fares.
Facing a decline in its earnings, the Railways is likely to introduce the dynamic fare system in Humsafar Express trains, a special class service comprising only AC-3 coaches with many added facilities, to perk up revenue. In dynamic pricing, the fare goes up with demand and comes down if there is lack of demand.
"The modalities of fare structure are being finalised. We examined several options to fix the fare considering the high expenditure incurred on it. One option was to fix the fare at 20 to 30 per cent higher than the regular AC-3 fares. The other was dynamic pricing,"said a senior Railways Ministry official. "Manufacturing cost of these coaches with modern facilities is high...So there has to be special fares for these services which will be higher than that of regular trains," he said, adding further, "We are working out details to have a cap on maximum fare and also for a minimum base fare".
Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu had announced during the presentation of Rail Budget 2016-17 that there will be seven Humsafar Express trains for inter-city overnight journey, with many additional facilities which are otherwise not available in normal AC-3 coaches.