Project ‘Swarna’ of Indian Railways

IAS Prelims 2023

To improve passenger experience, Ministry of Railways decided to upgrade Premium Rajdhani and Shatabdi trains under Project ‘Swarna’.

With improved passenger amenities, aesthetics and hygiene standards, Country’s first Swarn Rajdhani (Train no 12313 New Delhi – Sealdah Rajdhani Express) was launched in New Delhi recently.

Under Project Swarna, a detailed programme to significantly improve passenger experience on Rajdhani & Shatabdi trains has been planned in the following 10 dimensions:
i. Coach Interiors
ii. Toilets
iii. Onboard cleanliness
iv. Punctuality
v. Catering
vi. Linen
vii. Staff Behaviour
viii. Security
ix. Onboard entertainment
x. Real Time Feedback

For this programme, Ministry had formed nine teams of two officers each from Railway Board to monitor the progress of work under each dimension of Project Swarna.

14 Rajdhani trains & 15 Shatabdi trains have been selected for the first phase of this Project.

The first revamped rake of Rajdhani under the project was rake of Sealdah Rajdhani (12314 New Delhi-Sealdah) which was launched from New Delhi.

Salient Features of Ist Swarn Rajdhani : Base on extensive research, the following features have been introduced on Sealdah Rajdhani:

a) Complete interior painting to an aesthetic International colour scheme and LED lighting to improve illumination.

b) Better hygiene by providing ‘auto janitor’ system in toilets.

c) Health faucets, stainless steel wash basins improved soap dispenser and better quality dustbins, carefully chosen locations for ergonomic convenience.

d) Night signage for easy identifications of berth nos. for enroute entraining passengers.

e) Blanket covers for First AC passengers of two different colours to ensure separate cover in to and fro journey.

f) Built in ladders for First AC passengers for easy access to upper berth.

g) CCTV cameras in doorway area and aisles to monitor any suspect activity with data storage.

h) New design magazine bags with extra pocket for mobile for fitting changing life style.

i) LED lighting over mirrors.

j) Vinyl wrapping of toilet doors for improved aesthetics.

k) Epoxy coating in toilets, provisioning of extra mats in toilet to improve hygienic standards and to give a dry toilet to the passengers with improved cleanliness

l) Polished commodes and basins to make them odour free in every trip.

m) 3 pilot coaches in service to gather passenger feedback and assess journey worthiness.

An expenditure about Rs. 35 lakhs has gone into this rake which translates into less than Rs.2 lakh per coach.

Under Project Swarna, Zonal Railways were given a free hand to develop and innovate to create aesthetic and passenger friendly coach interiors on running rakes to establish new standards in passengers comfort. A target budget of Rs. 50 lakh per rake was allowed for this purpose.