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Eight express trains in Tamil Nadu to get premium-style upgrade

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Passengers travelling in sleeper and AC classes of select express and superfast trains will soon have extra comfort with state-of-the-art facilities to be provided on a par with premium trains, thanks to the Project Utkrisht (Special) of the Railways.Putting an end to the criticism that the Railways had paid attention to improve passenger amenities only in premium trains such as Shatabdi, Duronto and Rajdhani, the Railway Board recently approved the Project Utkrisht, under which 140 rakes of 66 trains across the country would be upgraded and sanctioned `60 lakh to upgrade each rake, said the board order issued to the Southern Railway on Tuesday.

Six trains in the Southern Railway have been chosen for the upgrade. They are Tiruchy-Howrah Superfast Express (biweekly), Madurai-Delhi Hazrat Nizamuddin Sampark Kranti Express (biweekly), Coimbatore-Hazrat Nizamuddin Kongu Express (weekly), Chennai-Thiruvananthapuram AC Express (Biweekly), KSR Bengaluru-Kochuveli Express (daily) and Mangaluru Central-Nagercoil Express.

In addition to this, the Mysuru-Thoothukudi Express (daily) operated by the Southern Western Railway and Dibrugarh-Kanniyakumari Express (weekly) run by the Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) will also get refurbished.In November 2017, the Railways launched Project Swarn to upgrade the coaches of 15 premier trains with better passenger amenities. One coach in each train has been upgraded and rolled out recently.

“Project Utkrisht is aimed at providing better amenities in trains mostly used by poor and middle class passengers. It is yet to be decided whether the ticket fare for refurbished coaches will be increased,” said a senior railway officer.While Chennai-Thiruvananthapuram AC Express and Kongu Express are operated with a single rake, the remaining four trains each have two rakes. So, 10 rakes are going to be upgraded at a cost of `6 crore, said the railway officials. The refurbished coaches will sport a swanky look with state-of-the-art facilities such LED lights, Braille signage, wi-fi and maintenance lock for toilets. In addition, flushing valves and other dustbins will be fitted in the toilets as per the Research Designs and Standards Organisation (RDSO) standards.

“To create an aesthetic look, the coach interior, gangway and doorway will be provided with vinyl wrapping. PVC flooring and all berths and seats will be replaced besides fitting fire extinguishers in all coaches. Toilets in the AC coaches should have indication board,” said the order

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