The New Shatabdi Experience

I guess numbers really impress everyone.. So here are a few  :

An Average of 20 trains commute between Ahmedabad and Mumbai one way every day…each one more than loaded to capacity… thats an awful 30k people one way traffic every 24 hours… and thats an enormous source of revenue… perennial… vital…

If you drive across these 2 cities.. then you overtake an average of 800 trucks having more than 8 wheels during the daytime.. This number merely reduces to 500 at night…So thats another ‘lot of people’ and freight through the corridor..

The cheapest fare between the two cities is prices Rs. 140 in a Super-fast Seater which takes 7 hours for the journey… So the real deal is : At 50% students concession, I pay Indian Railways INR 70 to get me from Mumbai to Ahmedabad.. and I pay a CNG Auto INR 60 from the Station back home…

The last time I was browsing.. there were 16 flights a day connectin these 2 cities.. I refrain from the count here…

In such a scenario.. its really pointless to add showpieces or dead infra to the system… The demand is so high and supply so low that comfort and luxury takes a backseat… However, our very honourable Mr Lalu Prasad Yadav  decided to have a  TV screen for every 2 passengers on board the Shatabdi Express… heights of luxury I’d say.. esp for Indian Railways…

I checked this new concept out only a month back.. and I think the execution was too good considering the kind of service Indian Railways has traditionally been renowned for…They had News, with too much Business(considering the larger interests of the travellers), they had comedy serials.. the latest string of Reality Shows, Music Videos.. a nice package overall… There were too many advertisements and I think a movie or 2 could have made it a lot more pleasurable.. but its really appreciative for a start..

The departure timing had made a nightout the only way of ensuring I board the train on time… moreover.. air conditioned journeys are designed exclusively for sleepin.. not here.. A poke.. A hit.. A whishper.. A loud shout.. the stewards tried out all sorts of methods to wake me up every time I dozed off and ensured I was munchin somethin or the other all the time… So much that had I not completed a hasty Lunch (and threw away half of it), I would still have been onto it entering the Ahmedabad Station…

Luxury… Eccentricity…


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