‘Infotainment on wheels' for rail users

The Mysore-Bangalore Chamundi Express can now boast audio-video entertainment on board. It is the first non-Shatabdi service in the country to offer this facility. It was inaugurated by South Western Railway General Manager Kuldip Chaturvedi on Thursday morning before the train departed.

Dubbed as “infotainment on wheels”, it is a joint venture by the Railways and Focus Global that will provide passengers information on arrival and departure times of trains, approaching stations, pre-recorded rail-related information, emergency alerts, social messages, apart from entertainment programmes.

The 24-inch LCD display screens have been placed in all coaches of the train. There are built-in speakers in the coach.

In a pre-event press meet, Divisional Railway Manager of Mysore Division B.B. Verma said that the concept was in vogue on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad Shatabdi Express. After studying the feedback, the Mysore Division introduced it on the Chamundi Express. “We will study the response and introduce the concept in other trains as well,” he added. The facility will be installed in short-distance trains with chair car rakes such as the Tipu Express, Bangalore-Shimoga Express, and Bangalore-Hubli Inter-city Express.

The project entails no investment from the Railways but it will help generate revenue by way of licence fee and share in advertisements. The division has sold the licensee fee for Rs. 4 lakh per annum with a provision to enhance the rate by 15 per cent every year. The contract is valid for three years.

The onboard Global Positioning System will provide information about the approaching station in Kannada, Hindi and English and the digital audio system is synchronised with the visual display system for delivery of audio video messages regarding the location of the train, according to Mr.Verma.

Customer feedback will be continuously monitored by the Railways primarily focusing on passenger convenience and travel experience and live streaming of news, sports and other programmes have also been planned for the future. Senior Divisional Commercial Manager Anup Dayanand Sadhu and other officials were present.

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