NEW DELHI : Indian Railways, ailing for long due to governmental disinterest, mismanagement by the Railway Board, and lack of initiatives and funds, may change slightly for the better now. The first privately managed train, the Delhi-Lucknow Tejas Express, starts its regular services from October 5, Saturday. There, though, is nothing big to crow about. More such train services are on the anvil.
The train’s maiden journey was flagged off by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath from Lucknow on Friday. A train of the Indian Railways, it will be run by Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC). The regular service from tomorrow will cover the distance of 535km between Delhi and Lucknow in six hours and 15 minutes. The average speed could be about 90km per hour — a far cry from world standards in rail speed. “This is the first corporate train in the country. I congratulate the first batch of passengers,” said the chief minister.
The train has some specialties. It will offer a refund to travellers if the train is delayed. If it delays for over an hour, passengers will get a compensation of 100. For a delay of two hours and more, the compensation will be 250.
The ticket prices for the entire stretch will be 1,125 for AC chair car and 2,310 for executive chair car. A ticket on the reverse journey will cost 1,280 for AC chair car passengers and 2,450 for those opting for executive chair car. Delhi-Lucknow Tejas Express will have advance reservation period of 60 days. There will be no facility of ‘tatkal’ ticket in Tejas Express.