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Saswat Singhdeo

Puri: In what can be termed as good news for railway passengers, the Puri-Durg Express, equipped with all modern amenities under the Utkrisht initiative, made its first trial run from platform number 8 of Puri railway station to Durg in Chhattisgarh today.

The coaches of the train have been upgraded to ‘Utkrisht’ category, making it the first train in East Coast Railway (ECoR) zone to have such facilities. Under Project Utkrisht, Ministry of Railways is upgrading Mail and Express coaches.

As per reports, the train has 18 coaches all painted in yellow and dark brown colours and will have facilities similar to that provided in airlines. Each coach will have fire extinguishers, new seats and passengers will get blankets and pillows. Apart from that, there will be bio-toilets in each coach.

"The facilities are very good in this train. Especially the toilet is neat and clean. Central government has done a really good job," a passenger travelling from Puri to Raipur said.

"We have decided to upgrade all mail express rakes to Utkrisht standard. This is the first such train under East Coast Railway which has 18 coaches. Interior and bath fittings have been upgraded. To improve aesthetics we have included some photographs of heritage sites. We expect that passengers will enjoy the facilities and use it responsibly," Divisional Railway Manager (DRM) of Khurda Road, Brij Mohan Agarwal said.

Indian Railways has plans to develop 640 Utkrisht rakes as part of upgradation of its mail/express trains at a cost of Rs 400 crore before 2020.

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