Railway minister Suresh Prabhu on Wednesday announced the introduction of four new categories of train services, including a fully unreserved train called 'Antyodaya' to run on sections unserved by passenger trains at present.
The other three services are in the reserved category, but with better convenience at more affordable rates. All the four trains services will be operational in the next couple of months.
"The reason behind starting new train for unreserved passengers is to ensure that those belonging to the 'Antodya class' (very poor people) can also travel by train," Prabhu said.
He was speaking after the signing of a memorandum of understanding between Vadodara-based National Academy of the Indian Railway (NAIR) and MS University of Baroda.
As part of the MoU, railway probationary officers who are currently trained at NAIR, will study and obtain MBA degree from the University of Baroda with specialisation in respective fields such as finance, human resource management, production, operations management and marketing management.
The tie-up also enables MS University to select students for MBA along with Indian Railway officers. These students will also be awarded MBA degree in respective disciplines.
Speaking about the introduction of new train services, Prabhu said, "It is the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to provide travelling facility to this (Antodaya) category of people."
"The Antyodaya Express, a long-distance, fully unreserved, super-fast train service is to be introduced for the common man and it will operate on dense routes," Prabhu added.
The minister said Railways will also add two to four 'Deen Dayalu' coaches to some long-distance trains for unreserved travel to enhance the carrying capacity.
"The other trains to be introduced are Humsafar - a fully third AC train. The Tejas category of trains will run at 130 km an hour with local cuisine, Wi-Fi and other amenities on board," Prabhu said.
"The final category is UDAY (Utkrisht Double-Decker Air-conditioned Yatri), which will be overnight trains plying on the busiest routes to increase capacity by 40 per cent," the minister added.
"It is in an attempt to enhance railway services across the country. The railway ministry does not want the state chief ministers to visit New Delhi on eve of the presentation of Railway Budget for including their state's demand in the budget," he added.
Instead, he said, "The ministry has been approaching all the state governments to join hands with the Railways and jointly float companies to execute projects in their respective states."
Meanwhile the Railways on Sunday flagged off a special train between Vadodara and Ahmedabad, named 'Sanklap Express.'