<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>It is time for Mumbai-Goa commuters to rejoice! A high-end train, Tejas, has been sanctioned for the sector. Tejas will be what the railway minister Suresh Prabhu, had called ‘the future of train travel in India’ in his budget speech on February 25 this year. “Operating at speeds above 130 kmph, it will offer on-board services such as entertainment, local cuisine, Wi-Fi, etc. through a single service provider to ensure accountability and improved customer satisfaction,” Prabhu had said while addressing the Parliament.The premium train however will run at almost the same speed as other trains currently plying on that route. According to the announcement made by Central Railways on Thursday, Tejas will leave CST at 00:20 hrs and reach Karmali at 11 hrs on the same day. In the return leg, the train will leave Karmali at 12:20 hrs and reach CST at 22:45 hrs. It will halt at Thane, Panvel, Chiplun, Ratnagiri, Kudal and Thivim in both up and down journies, said officials.”Tejas will be offering nothing so great; it will take about the same time as the Dadar-Madgaon Janshatabdi express which also takes a little under 11 hours to reach Goa. The coaches of Tejas will however have better facilities including television screens at the back of the chairs. When we call something the ‘future of train travel’, the main factors we are looking at will always be augmented speed to save time. If this element is not missing in Tejas, then it is just a cosmetic upgrade,” said a senior railway official.Another official called the announcement ‘very premature’. “Only the first coach of Tejas has been constructed completely at the Rail Coach Factory, Kapurthala. Its trials will be decided by the Railway Board. The plan is to make three Tejas rakes by the end of March 2017, which seems highly unlikely. So as far as Tejas is concerned, it is still in inception and the CR announcement might be more political than operational,” said an official.”If Tejas is meant for business travel, as preached by the railways, then it requires lessening time of travel more than anything else. If it it doesn’t satisfy this condition, how can it qualify as a business travellers’ choice,” asked Manish Chaturvedi, a Bhandup resident.According to officials, one of the main reasons Tejas might be hamstrung when it comes to speed is Konkan Rail itself. The distance between CST and Karmali in Goa is about 540 kilometres and the average speed of the trains currently running on the route is about 55 kmph. The lower speed is because of the peculiarities of the Konkan Railway network. It has a single line running on typically laterite soil mixed with boulders susceptible to landslides during monsoons. The network also has 91 tunnels and 101 cuttings which induce speed restrictions.Features of the Tejas rake:1) Ergonomic seating with improved cushioning and upholstery2) Automatic doors, Infotainment system with on-board Wi-Fi along with a beverage vending machine3) GPS based passenger information display system and passenger announcement system4) Dust sealed gangways, fire and smoke detection system5) CCTV cameras6) concealed LED lighting with adjustable reading lights7) Integrated braille displays8) Bio-vacuum toilets with sensorised taps, flush system, hand dryers etc for a touch-less experience

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Premium train Tejas to ply on Mumbai-Goa route