Content on Demand service to begin on Mumbai local AC trains

The project will be implemented in two years and the content will be made available in paid and unpaid formats.   | Photo Credit: INDRANIL MUKHERJEE

Passengers of three premium long-distance passenger trains and an air conditioned (AC) local service will soon have high-quality buffer-free streaming of popular movies and TV shows. The four trains have been selected for the pilot of the content on demand (CoD) service on board trains of the Indian Railways. The service will be rolled out on the two Rajdhani trains, the AC local of Western Railway (WR) and the Chennai Express of Central Railway (CR).

The contract for the service was awarded by RailTel in January to M/s Margo Network, a subsidiary of Zee Entertainment, which goes by the brand name Sugarbox Networks. The project will be implemented in two years and the provision of content such as movies, TV shows, educational programmes will be made available in paid and unpaid formats in a 10-year contract, which includes the first two years of implementation.


Rohit Paranjpe, CEO and co-founder, SugarBox Networks, said commuters and passengers will be able to access apps on their phone through the SugarBox app, which will act as a window and can be downloaded for free. “Consumers at no point will be paying anything to SugarBox. The content on various platforms that is free will continue to remain free,” he said, adding that they will be integrating the existing apps for not only online content but also services such as ride-hailing apps. Mr. Paranjpe said the four trains were chosen as they had to roll out the service in three different rake types in the Railways for the pilot: suburban rake, premium outstation coaches and regular coaches. “The pilot is being conducted on 10 rakes, which have been selected for the trains. The trains will be fitted with on-board media servers, which will be preloaded with content that can only be accessed through a mobile application,” a senior railway official said.

Ravinder Bhakar, Chief Public Relations Officer, WR, said, “We are looking forward to the service to start on our premium trains and provide our passengers with the option of on-board entertainment. We are expecting the service to start next month.”


Out of the 10 rakes, five belong to the two Rajdhanis departing from Mumbai Central: the Mumbai-New Delhi Rajdhani Express and the August Kranti Rajdhani Express. Four rakes belong to Chennai Express, which runs from Dadar Terminus to Chennai Egmore.

The service will cover nearly 8,731 trains, including 3,003 trains (premium, mail and express, to and fro) across India, and 2,864 pairs of suburban trains. The CoD will be available at all Wi-Fi enabled railway stations.

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Printable version | Jan 23, 2022 6:56:47 PM |

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