Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu today flagged off the first indigenously built 'Medha' rake on the western corridor of the city. "We are proud to have built this rake under the Make in India campaign. We are working on various railway projects worth Rs 51,000 crore for the people of Mumbai city, besides projects worth Rs 1.36 lakh crore are underway for the state of Maharashtra," Prabhu said in his speech. Two Medha rakes were on a trial mode since last two years and have been designed and built at the Integral Coach Factory in Chennai. The seats of these trains are ergonomically designed for better seating comfort of the passengers.
The cost of each Medha rake is Rs 43.23 crore, as against Rs 44.36 crore spent for Bombardier rakes. Prabhu said his ministry was on a "mission mode" to transform the Railways. "We have chalked out a roadmap to transform the railway and therefore, we have prepared the blueprint of long-term, short-term and medium-term investment to achieve this target. Most importantly, railway authorities have been vested powers to use the fund according to their profile," said Prabhu. During the event, Prabhu also flagged off Lokmanya Tilak Terminus-Tatanagar-Lokmanya Tilak Terminus Antyodaya Express (bi-weekly). Having a seating capacity of 2,000, the Antyodaya Express is meant to be a long-distance, fully unreserved, super-fast train service, which will cover the distance between the two cities in 25 hours. 20-general-coach Antyodaya train has many advanced amenities like water purifiers, fire extinguishers, mobile charging points, anti-theft arrangement, cushioned luggage racks with coat hooks, LED lights and bio-toilets. The regular service will leave Lokmanya Tilak Terminus at 1.20 PM every Tuesday and Saturday and enroute the train will halt at Igatpuri, Bhusaval, Nagpur, Gondia, Durg, Raipur, Bilaspur, Raigarh, Jharsuguda, Rourkela and Chakradharpur stations. Prabhu also flagged off Miraj- Solapur-Miraj Express daily train through a video link, besides announcing Lokmanya Tilak Terminus-Lucknow-Lokmanya Tilak Terminus AC Superfast (weekly), which will commence its regular services from April 8, 2017. He also laid foundation stone for the construction of the fourth line between Bhusaval-Jalgaon a 24-km stretch at an approximate cost of Rs 260 crores. During the event, Prabhu also inaugurated the mechanised laundry installed at Lokmanya Tilak Terminus (coaching depot) having capacity of 13,000 bed rolls per day.
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