Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu on Monday flagged off the first Antyodaya Express — a long distance, fully unreserved, superfast train service — between Kochi’s Ernakulam Junction and Howrah Junction through video conferencing from Rail Bhavan here, an official statement said.
Speaking on the occasion, Prabhu said, “Today we are launching the country’s first Antyodaya Express… Tejas and UDAY Express will be launched soon. Antyodaya Express is a long distance, fully unreserved, superfast train service, for the common man to be operated on dense routes.”
The new clan of trains will have facilities like cushioned luggage racks which can serve as seats, potable drinking water dispenser, mobile charging points, modular toilets of reinforced plastic, toilet occupation indication display board, LED lights among others for comfortable long distance travel.
The 22-coach train will cover a distance of 2,307 kilometres in 37 hours. Prabhu also flagged off Humsafar Express between Rajasthan’s Sriganganagar and Tiruchirappalli in Tamil Nadu. Humsafar Express is an all-AC ‘affordable’ luxury train for the common man and was announced in the Railway Budget 2016. The train has air-conditioned 3-tier coaches.