Pricey Tejas Express, India's First High-Speed Train, Can’t Get Enough Passengers
Despite providing services such as LED screens, Wi-Fi and a snacks table, India’s premium luxury train Tejas Express, which runs from Mumbai to Goa, has failed to receive sustained response from passengers.
Data from the railways shows that while trains such as Konkan Kanya, Mandovi Express and the Jan Shatabadi Express have nearly 400 passengers on their waitlists, more than half of the seats on the Karmali-bound Tejas from Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus are still to be booked, according to The Indian Express.
The data for Tejas is a disappointment because the Indian Railways were expecting a peak in booking considering the upcoming the Ganeshotsav to be celebrated in August this year.
The train was flagged off in May.
The state-of-the-art train, capable of running at 200 kilometres per hour, will operate five days a week during the non-monsoon period, and three days a week during the monsoon period.
The train also comes equipped with vending machines serving tea and coffee, snack tables, books, and food items pertaining to the local cuisine.
Advance booking to reserve a seat on the inaugural journey were open from May 21.
“The first 15 days saw huge occupancy in the train. People came in large numbers to experience the fancy ride the train was offering. By mid-June, we saw a dip in its demand and occupancy,” a senior railway official told The Indian Express.
According to many passengers, the fare is too high for the journey.
“I have booked the Konkan Kanya Express in advance for both the to and fro journeys. I find the fares of Tejas exorbitant for a five-hour journey to my native place,” Girish Kulkarni, a tourist, told the newspaper.
The train has 56 seats in one coach of executive class (EC) and 78 seats in 15 coaches of chair car compartment.
Last month, it was reported that Tejas will soon run on new routes of Delhi-Chandigarh and Delhi-Lucknow, cutting down travel time significantly.
While the New Delhi to Chandigarh journey will last around four hours, the New Delhi to Lucknow trip will take six hours.
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