New Delhi, June 17 : The dark blue coaches of Indian Railways will be a thing of the past now as the public transporter would be repainting all Mail/Express trains in a new colour scheme -- beige and brown.
The freshly-painted Delhi-Pathankot Express with 16 coaches will be the first train to be rolled out, by this month-end, with the new colour scheme developed by the in-house team of Northern Railway.
The colour of premium trains -- including Rajdhani, Shatabdi and Duronto -- will however not be changed and only Mail/Express service with conventional coaches manufactured at the Integral Coach Factory in Chennai will be donning the new colour.
Besides, special service trains like Tejas and Gatimaan Express will also continue with the existing colour.
"A complete makeover of coaches was long overdue and the new colour scheme was applied in trains after it was finally approved by Railways Minister Piyush Goyal," a senior Railways Ministry official told IANS.
It was in the 1990s that the new colour scheme of dark blue was introduced for Mail/Express coaches, replacing the brick red colour which was in use for decades.
Now the Railways has quite a task at hand -- repainting about 30,000 coaches in the new colour scheme.
Railways has been taking steps to revamp its network across the country and improve passenger experience.
The makeover of coaches for a more pleasing travel experience is one such step.
"The change of colour is part of the Railways' efforts to make passengers' experience a pleasant one," the official said.
He further said besides the exterior, steps have been taken to improve the interiors of the coaches with additional facilities.
"The replacement of all toilets with bio-toilets, providing mobile chargers at each berth, comfortable seats are some of the changes undertaken in trains.
In fact, a provision has also been activated to solicit passengers' response and suggestions for improving service," he added.
(Arun Kumar Das is a senior Delhi-based freelance journalist.
He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)