Mumbai: Come New Year and the iconic red Rajdhani Express will be covered with advertisements in vinyl plastic, said railway officials. The railways expects revenue of Rs 67 lakh per month from these advertisements, which have been recommended by a new section within the Railway Board with a view towards increasing revenue without hiking fares. A total of seven trains, including the red Rajdhani Express, the yellow-and-green air-conditioned Duranto, and five August Kranti Express trains will be part of this initiative. Officials said that the entire process of wrapping these trains will take around five months and work will begin from January. As per norms, parties to the contract will be able to use these trains for advertisements for the next five... more...
years. Western Railway’s (WR’s) chief public relations officer Ravindra Bhakar confirmed the news and said, “The proposal was made by a new department that has been created at Delhi and if all the formalities are completed without a glitch, the work of wrapping will begin in January.” Apparently, the Railway Board and the railway ministry have been asked to find new ways of increasing revenue. “The Rajdhani is an icon in the railways; you can recognise a Rajdhani the instant you see it on the tracks, heading to its destination. But the issue is that we cannot afford this iconic train, so the proposal is that we use this connect it has with people and earn some money since increasing fares is a very sensitive issue in our country,” said a railway official. Importantly, coaches of these trains are Linke Hofmann Busch (LHB) type, i.e. they are more sophisticated looking as well as faster in terms of running time.
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Earning extra is a welcome step for IR, start is small but the revenues may increase drastically in future. Moreover cost of painting shall be saved, and the advertiser shall invariably use superior paints/ coatings. Even in the advertised train IR must devise some system like a compulsory strip along the length of coach with a particular colour to identify the class of train like Rajdhani/ SF express/ M-Express/ Passenger etc.
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