The railways, possibly for the first time, is going to run unreserved trains that will need to maintain an average speed of 55 km per hour during its run. Called Jansadharan and tagged with the Superfast status — hence the need to maintain the 55kmph average speed as per railway regulations — it is the railways' attempt to be what one official called 'a humane transporter of people.'
Patronised mainly by the migrant class moving around the country in search of jobs, these unreserved trains, for years now, have been at the mercy of the time-tabling and operations departments of the railways, which have cared little while scheduling such unreserved trains. The result was a scenario where thousands of people got crammed into these trains like cattle and were then left stranded at various stations for hours at a stretch.
"Many of these so-called 'holiday special trains' would reach their destination 10 to 15 hours late because they would be made to halt, while all other trains would be allowed to pass through. It was as if the railways was telling these people that it didn't care enough," said a senior railway official.
Railway authorities are calling it the second biggest innovation to the old concept of running holiday special trains, the first of course, being the money-spinner Premium Fluctuating Fare trains.
"The premium trains are at the top of the spectrum where people who can afford to pay can book tickets and save money on flights. The Jansadharan Superfast on the other hand, is for the lower strata who cannot afford reserved trains but want to reach their destination in time," said an official.
The railways has a total of 12 trips of these Jansadharan Superfast planned between Bandra Terminus and New Delhi between May 25 and July 1, with the train expected to complete the journey in around 22 hours.