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Western, Central railways plan in-train shopping; foot massages at stations to generate revenue

Dreading that long train journey? From December, you may be able to spend some of your travel time shopping.

mumbai Updated: Aug 27, 2018 09:03 IST
Aroosa Ahmed
Aroosa Ahmed
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,Railways,Shopping on trains
(Hindustan Times)

Dreading that long train journey? From December, you may be able to spend some of your travel time shopping.

The western and central railways plan to have items such as perfumes, bags, watches and travel essentials for sale — first on its premium trains, and then on all long-distance trains — to boost its revenue.

The move comes after the railway ministry asked all zonal railways to generate Rs 1,200 crore from avenues other than ticket sales.

The western railways will float tenders for sellers in September, and plans to start the on-board sales on its Shatabdi trains from December; the central railways wants to begin on-board sales in October, in the AC coaches of the Konark Express, Chennai Express and Ernakulam-Hazrat Nizamuddin Duronto.

“The shopping experience will start with consumer goods on outstation trains,” said Sanjay Mishra, divisional railway manager, western railways, confirming the proposal. “A tender will be floated by September-end and the service will begin by December.”

A senior central railway official said they had already floated the tenders.

“If we get a good response, we will introduce the shopping experience on a pilot basis by October. But, we first want to ensure the products are of good quality. Passengers can start shopping on all premium trains by December,’’ said the official, who did not want to be named

“The idea is similar to the products available on flights. The aim is to ensure a pleasurable shopping experience for commuters, which is why our focus will be on operate that run during the day,” said a senior western railway official.

The railway ministry is also planning to install coin-operated Body Mass Index kiosks across major railway stations in Mumbai, taking off from the earlier, ubiquitous weighing machines.

So far, however, no concrete step has been taken.

The ministry has proposed some other ways to increase revenue. These include setting up robotic massage chairs for foot massages at railway stations, mobile applications to track suburban trains, and exhibitions at major railway stations in India.

First Published: Aug 27, 2018 00:37 IST