Faced with stiff competition from airlines, the railways is introducing in-flight entertainment and food from five-star hotels with options for dishes in selected trains like Rajdhani and Shatabdi Express.
Channel music, TV screens screening of latest films, food from five-star hotels, providing options in menu, increased speed, are some of the offers being finalised to be introduced in these trains.
The facilities offered by low-cost air carriers have made an impact on the 1st class AC and 2nd class AC passengers of the railways as fares of these classes are at par with the fares charged by low-cost airlines. Though it has not affected the railways in non-metro routes, there is a dent on Delhi-Mumbai and Delhi-Kolkata routes.
Ramesh Chandra, the officiating chairman of the Railway Board, said the railways is improving its onboard services in some selected routes.
"This is a continuous exercise as part of our upgradation drive. It is true that many low-cost carriers are offering fares which are almost at par with our upper class fares. Though we have wider network than anybody and the number of our clientele is much more than anybody, we are not complacent about it," he said.
The railways earns about 20 per cent of its total passenger revenue from the upper class segment - 1st class AC, 2nd class AC and Chair Car.