Yogi flags off Tejas Express in Lucknow
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Friday flagged off the Tejas Express, the country's first "private" train run by its subsidiary IRCTC, on the Lucknow-New Delhi route.
Lucknow : Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Friday flagged off the Tejas Express, the country's first "private" train run by its subsidiary IRCTC, on the Lucknow-New Delhi route.
The commercial run of the train starts on Saturday. The Tejas Express cuts the time travelled between the two cities to 6.15 hours from the 6.40 hours taken by the Swarn Shatabdi, currently the fastest train on the route.
"It is the first corporate train of the country. I congratulate the first batch of passengers travelling in it and hope such initiatives are taken to connect other cities as well," Adityanath said.
"I thank Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Railway Minister Piyush Goyal for giving the first corporate train from the biggest state to Delhi. This is a competitive era and there is need for environment friendly public transport to be accepted in society," Adityanath said.
When mobile phones were first introduced, charges were astronomical but now every person has a mobile phone, he said. "This happened due to healthy competition," he added. Indian Railways, Adityanath said, connects the entire country, providing journeys that are safe, cheap and environment friendly.
We need healthy competition to provide better facilities to the people," he added. According to the schedule, the train will leave Lucknow at 6.10 am and reach New Delhi Railway station at 12.25 pm. On its return journey, the train will leave Delhi at 3.35 pm and reach Lucknow at 10.05 pm.
According to Adityanath, air tickets are expensive and there was no facility earlier to reach Delhi in the afternoon and return to Lucknow at night. The Tejas Express will have only two halts — Kanpur and Ghaziabad. It will run on all days of the week, except Tuesday.
If this experiment of handing over certain operations to IRCTC is successful, the railways will make way for private operators to run trains in India, officials said. The Railway Board has already asked zonal railways to consider the feasibility of running private trains on 50 key routes, including Delhi-Mumbai and Delhi-Howrah.
The Tejas Express is a more premium version of the Shatabdi Express category of air-conditioned chair cars. The new IRCTC Tejas Express train has several new features. In a first, passengers will be paid for any delay on an hourly basis.
Also, Rs 25 lakh free insurance will be provided for each and every passenger. The Tejas Express ticket is priced at Rs 1,280 for AC chair car passengers and Rs 2,450 for executive chair car.
However, due to dynamic pricing, the costliest Tejas ticket till now is Rs 4,325. Swarn Shatabdi Express ticket fares are Rs 970 for chair cars and Rs 1,935 for AC 1A. This train, too, has dynamic pricing.