No need of 3 Shatabdis on Chandigarh-Delhi route: Union railway minister

Union railway minister on Friday said looking at the occupancy, there was no need for three Shatabdis on the Chandigarh-Delhi route.

“I don’t think we need three Shatabdis between Chandigarh and Delhi. One Shatabdi and one Tejas train is enough on this route,” said Piyush Goyal who reached the city railway station, along with his wife, at 8.40pm on Shatabdi Express to attend a wedding here.

The officials of the Ambala division railways, including the divisional railways manager (DRM) Dinesh Sharma, senior divisional commercial manager (DCM) Praveen Dwedi and other officials received the minister.

“Shatabdis are not filled on a daily basis and replacing it with a Tejas is not required. We can have one Shatabdi and one Tejas. Why do we need three trains? There is no point in running the trains forcefully if there is not adequate occupancy,” said Goyal.

Goyal was to take a flight but had to take a train at the last moment. Goyal shared that the food and services were good in the train. “I hope the food is generally good in Shatabdis,” he said. He said the Shatabdi was almost vacant when he had come to Chandigarh last time and similar was the situation on Friday as well.

Praveen Dwedi, senior DCM, said the average occupancy in Shatabdi express trains is only 40%. As per the officials, the passenger occupancy in premium trains that have flexi fare system in ticket booking had reduced when compared to ticket booking without the flexi system.

However Goyal had nothing to share on the Tejas train if it will be running on the Chandigarh-Delhi route or the Delhi-Lucknow route.

Kalka Shatabdi 12006 (morning), Chandigarh NDLS Shatabdi 12046 (afternoon) and Kalka Shatabdi 12012 (evening) are the three Shatabdis plying between Chandigarh and Delhi.

Rail cars made of glass to run on Kalka-Shimla route

Talking about new plans, Goyal shared that the railways is working to upgrade the Shimla-Kalka stretch, both on safety aspect and procuring rail cars. “We have designed a refurbished rail car. If it works well, I have asked to place more orders. The rail cars will be with glass on all the sides and it will be beautiful journey,” he said.

“I have also suggested to try having a hop on hop off service on the Kalka Shimla route such that rail cars keep plying and the passengers can enter the train on a single ticket and get down at Barogh, have their meals and then take another rail car for the next destination.

Quote: We can have one Shatabdi and one Tejas. Why do we need three trains? There is no point in running trains forcefully if there is not adequate occupancy.

Piyush Goyal, Union railway minister

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