T3 inspires the Railways
The Northern Railways has invited suggestions for renovation and improvement of passenger amenities at its stations in Delhi, apart from four other divisions
The Northern Railways wants its stations in Delhi to be state-of-the-art, almost at par with the Delhi airport’s Terminal 3. Further, it is open to ideas from all quarters as long these are cost effective.
The Northern Railways had recently invited expressions of interest from individuals, trusts, charitable institutions or corporate entities for renovation, improvement and upgradation of passenger amenities at its stations in Delhi, apart from four other divisions. The Railways is looking for some bright ideas that would not only mean better facilities for passengers, but also change the image of railways. In lieu of these services, the sponsors can put up boards or plaques at the stations acknowledging their contribution.
“People complain that railway stations are not clean and we want to know from them how they want the stations to be clean. We are looking for good ideas to achieve this and have invited expressions of interest from experts who can bring in new technology and better processes to achieve this,” said J.P. Singh, Chief Commercial Manager (Passenger Services), Northern Railway.
Mr. Singh said that from individuals to NGOs and corporate entities, anyone is welcome to suggest ideas to improve facilities at the railway stations, as long these are effective but don’t cost too much. “We want to implement the best practices and processes, which would also be more economical,” he added.
He said that Terminal 3 of the Indira Gandhi International Airport was an inspiration and that the Railways would try to emulate its passenger amenities as much as possible. “Their wash rooms are always clean and you would always find attendants around. Many airports in European countries don’t have such facilities,” Mr. Singh said.
The possible areas of works intended for the sponsor to provide at railway stations include cleanliness and sanitation at the stations, facilities for smoother movement of passenger traffic, better signages, energy efficient fittings and use of environment-friendly technology.
For providing easy and comfortable access to passengers, the amenities that Railways wants sponsors to provide include wheelchairs, escalators, elevators and travellators, battery-operated cars with drivers and luggage trolleys. Other amenities planned include adequate number of dustbins, water fountains, air/mist cooling system, water treatment system including RO plants, air curtains, etc.
Better signages at railway stations is another focus area, for which the Railways want sponsors to come up with LED-based station board names, electronic charts, train display systems, coach indication boards, public address systems and state-of-the-art clocks.
To make its carbon footprint smaller, the Railways has asked for lighting systems using renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power, rain water harvesting at stations, solar water heating system and high mast lighting with timers, day-night light switch and energy-efficient fittings.
Interested individuals or organisations can send their expressions of interest to the Railways by September 30, 2015. Apart from railway stations in Delhi, the expressions of interest have also been invited for stations under four other divisions – Firozpur, Ambala, Moradabad and Lucknow. The total number of stations under these five divisions is 1,008. The sponsors would have to provide these amenities at their own cost and they could put up boards or plaques of acknowledgement in lieu of the services.
Escalators and Walkators – Adequate number of these at railway stations would mean passengers would be able to access platforms with ease.
Help desks – Specially designed conical help desks that are easy to identify and provide all information to passengers at one place.
Customer centric approach – Airport operations at T3 are devised keeping the passenger in mind and as the centre of operations.
Signages – Proper and easy to read signages, with simple maps could help guide passengers.
Washrooms – The biggest problem that Railways face is the stink. At T3, washroom maintenance facilities have been outsourced with stringent service level agreement. Cleaning staff is deployed around the clock.
Facilites for People with Restricted Mobility (PRM) – Special facilities for pregnant women, senior citizens and those who are wheelchair bound. Such facilities are woefully short at railway stations.
Ease of check in – Check in and passenger movement facilities are carefully designed for easy access.
Facilities for young mothers, children – There are changing areas for mothers and rooms for lactating mothers. For children, there are play areas.
Lane management – separate lanes for different modes of transport outside T3. First lane is reserved for buses and radio taxis, second for black and yellow taxis and third for private vehicles.
Food and beverage – Better food courts that offer different kind of cuisine for discerning passengers and the young crowd.
X-ray baggage screening – Their numbers are not adequate at railway stations. T3 has large number of these with special ones for over dimensional baggage.
Metro connectivity – Seamless connectivity with the Airport Metro line. At New Delhi and Delhi Main railway stations, passengers have to climb different levels to reach the stations.
Snooze pads – For passengers who have to wait for longer duration, there are space available to rest and relax.
Energy efficient building – T3 is a certified green building that is energy efficient and doesn’t waste water.
Sense of space – T3 is spacious but also enhances the feeling through intelligent design of space, along with use of maximum natural lighting.
Source :The Hindu.