For a business meeting tomorrow I had to come to Bangalore. It so happened in the last 5 to 6 years that I almost always did morning-evening same day return flights from Chennai to Bangalore due to my schedules and my dislike for Railway stations. Considering the growing hassles of the hour-long queues in Airport securities and the praises I was hearing from my colleagues/media about the improved service in Indian Railways I decided this time to give Train a try.
Just now I reached Bangalore after travelling by Shatabdi Express that reached Bangalore Cantonment at 10.20PM (STA 10.05PM) which started from Chennai at 5:30 PM sharp. The overall experience was very good, I am certainly pleased and I want to do this more often than the flights – I guess this is greener as well. Comparing to Indian Railway’s historic (lack of) standards everything was clean including the coaches, seats, toilets and above all the stations at both ends. I travelled in the Executive coach and the service was certainly good, they kept giving you something to eat throughout the journey – Samosas, Cool Drink, Biscuits, Cashews, Wafers, Coffee/Tea, Soup, Dinner and Ice-Cream. I was surprised to hear that they had PA systems in the coaches in which they kept announcing things like crews names, delays, approaching station, time of arrival, etc.
Above all, I liked the idea you can be connected to a data card throughout the journey and keep working on your laptop catching up on your work. For instance, in the first one hour, I finished most of my pending emails and in the next few hours 3/4th of a book.
Keep up the good work Indian Railways, Thanks, Mr.Lalu & Team for giving us a good experience.