New Delhi: The Railways introduced 153 services in 2019-20 as compared to 266 services in 2018-19, which included modern semi-high speed trains like Vande Bharat, Tejas Express and UDAY (Utkrisht Double-Decker Air-conditioned Yatri) Express trains, Parliament was informed on Friday.
In a written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal said: "To facilitate passengers, Indian Railways, during the period 2018-19 and 2019-20, railways introduced new 153 and 266 services respectively."
He said that introducing new services is a continual endeavour of the national transporter to upgrade train services and to provide improved facilities to the passengers.
"Indian Railways have introduced premium services like Vande Bharat Express, Humsafar, Tejas, Antyodaya, UDAY, to provide better travelling experience to the passengers," he said, adding that state-of-art Vande Bharat Express services have been introduced on New Delhi-Varanasi and New Delhi-Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Katra sectors.
"These trains have ultra modern features like quick acceleration, on board infotainment and Global Positioning System (GPS) based passenger information system, automatic sliding doors, retractable footsteps and zero discharge vacuum bio toilets etc," he said.
Goyal said that a total of four pairs of Tejas Express services have been introduced.
"Two of these -- Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus-Karmali Tejas Express and Chennai Egmore-Madurai Jn Tejas Express are being run by Indian Railways, while the other two Tejas trains namely, Lucknow-New Delhi Tejas Express and Mumbai Central-Ahmedabad Tejas Express are operated by the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC)," he said.
Similarly, two pairs of UDAY Express have been operationalised -- Bangalore City - Coimbatore UDAY Express and Visakhapatnam-Vijayawada UDAY Express.
He said that other premium services like Humsafar, Tejas, Antyodaya, UDAY, Mahamana and coaches like Deen Dayalu and Anubhuti, which have upgraded interiors or exteriors and improved passenger amenities, have been introduced in various train services.
He further said that the railways is manufacturing only Linke Hofmann Busch (LHB) coaches, which are technologically superior and have better riding, aesthetics and safety features than conventional Integral Coach Factory (ICF) type coaches.
"Production Units of railways have stopped the manufacturing of ICF type coaches and are manufacturing only LHB coaches from the year 2018-19 onwards," he said.
Goyal also said that vistadome coaches provide panoramic view, through wider body side windows as well as through transparent sections in the roof, thus enabling the passengers to enjoy the scenic beauty of the places through which they travel.
"Recently, vistadome coaches on LHB platform have been manufactured with several modern features or amenities," he said.
He said that under Project Utkrisht, which was launched in April 2018 to improve the condition of ICF type coaches running in Mail or Express trains, railways has upgraded 447 rakes of Mail or Express trains till December 2020.
Similarly, under Project Swarn, 65 rakes of Rajdhani and Shatabdi trains have been upgraded across multiple dimensions, which include coach interiors, toilets, onboard cleanliness, staff behaviour, linen, etc.
The Minister said that 63 smart coaches with ultra modern features like smart public address and passenger information system, Smart HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning system), Smart security and surveillance system etc. have been manufactured and introduced.
He said that conversion of end-on-generation (EOG) trains into Head-On-Generation (HOG) trains is om to reduce noise and air pollution at stations and in trains. It is expected to significantly reduce the consumption of fossil fuels, he added.