Pune-Secunderabad Shatabdi flagged off

The first Shatabdi Express of the Pune division of Central Railways, running on the Pune-Secunderabad route, was flagged off from Secunderabad on Sunday afternoon. The train reached Pune at 11 pm and left for Secunderabad at 5.50 on Monday morning. The train will run six days a week and with 10 air-conditioned coaches.

The train bearing No 12025 leaves Pune at 5.50 am and reaches Secunderabad at 2.10 pm. Train no.12026 leaves Secunderabad railway station at 2.40 pm and reaches Pune at 11 pm. The train halts at Begumpet, Vikarabad, Tandur, Wadi, Gulbarga, Solapur and Pune.

Divisional railway manager, Pune, Vishal Agarwal said, "The train has 10 coaches with chair car seats. While there is one executive class chair car with 42 seats, the seven other coaches have 67 seats. The bookings are not many as the train was announced just four days ago. But going by the massive response of the trail runs, we are of the view that soon the tickets will be wait-listed."

At present there are no pantry cars, but catering facilities along with freezers for cold beverages and boiler for tea etc are there. Arrangements for music through a public address system have been made on the train. However, due to certain copyright and royalty issues involving commercial music, the system is not functional yet.

Senior divisional commercial manager Alok Badgul said, "Earlier, there was a Shatabdi train in the division on the Mumbai-Pune route, but it was scrapped in 2005. In 2010 and 2011, the Shatabdi would run during holiday seasons (summers and Diwali weeks) on this route. As it received tremedous response, it was decided to go for a regular train.

'Use ticket screenshots, save paper'

Meanwhile, to encourage rail users to save paper, the Indian Railways has made a provision where passengers with online tickets need not carry ticket printouts, instead they can use screenshots of the ticket on their laptops, mobile phones and other electronic devices which can be showed to the ticket collectors on the trains. However, passengers will still be required to produce identification documents along with the electronic copies of the ticket. When asked about the new eco-friendly move, Badgul said, "As per the nationwide figures, 40 per cent of ticket bookings are done online. This new provision will indeed help us cut down the usage of paper."

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