No meals on superfast wheels, Railways doesn't care for you

Railway Board has not listed several long-distance trains for the service

shivani

Shivani Chaturvedi | March 15, 2010


Jogbani Superfast Express covers a distance of 1381 kilometres in 24 hours 25 minutes at an average, end-to-end, speed of just 56.3 km. A train that travels at a speed of 56.3 km/h is a superfast? That is just one of the many scams the railways plays on you, the paying passenger. To know various other means of how you are being tricked by the railways, get hold of the upcoming issue of Governance Now magazine for its cover story: The great railway robbery.
Jogbani Superfast Express covers a distance of 1381 kilometres in 24 hours 25 minutes at an average, end-to-end, speed of just 56.3 km. A train that travels at a speed of 56.3 km/h is a superfast? That is just one of the many scams the railways plays on you, the paying passenger. To know various other means of how you are being tricked by the railways, get hold of the upcoming issue of Governance Now magazine for its cover story: The great railway robbery.

Kumud Mishra, travelling by train from Delhi to Forbesganj in Bihar, was waiting for the train to halt at some station so that he could get a cup of tea. Sanjay Kumar Sethia, who was to  reach Forbesganj the following evening, got down at Tundla station to have his lunch packed. He would be doing the same for the next day's meals. Kumud and Sanjay were both travelling by a so-called superfast train, a train that did not even have a pantry car.

Train number 2488 Jogbani Superfast Express (also known as Seemanchal Superfast Express) running between Delhi and Jogbani in Bihar is one of the several superfast trains which are superfast just in name and run without even a pantry car.

When contacted, IRCTC managing director Rakesh Tandon said: “It’s the Railway Board that nominates the trains for the pantry cars. If the Board has not selected a particular train for the pantry car even if it’s a superfast express, we cannot just connect the pantry car.”

Technicalities apart, passengers continue to suffer.

“I am waiting for the train to halt at some station so that I can get proper drinking water and a cup of tea. When the train was about to leave the Old Delhi station, one IRCTC (Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation) employee  came with tea and some breakfast. Since then we have not seen any pantry staff,” said Mukesh Kumar, who was travelling from Delhi to Patna.

“Ek cup chai bhi nahi mili subah se. Intezar kar raha hun kisi station ke aane ka. Subah se kitni bhook lag rahe hai. Mai soch kar baitha tha ke is superfast train mei railway wale chai aur khana to denge hi. (Since morning I haven’t been able to get even a cup of tea. I am waiting for the station to get tea and something to eat as I am feeling hungry. I was under the impression that the railways will provide proper meals in this superfast train),” said Vinod Sharma, who boarded the train at Delhi at 7.25 am and was to get down at Allahabad Junction at 4:50 in the evening.

Jitendra Kumar from Patna, travelling by this train for the first time, decided not to board this train again in his life. Anil Thakur, travelling to Madhubani, was also quite upset over the unperturbed attitude of the authorities.

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