Chennai: The Jan Ahaar hotel at Chennai Central station and the Southern Railway’s (SR) pantry cars are going in for a badly needed makeover. The unvarying idli-pongal on offer at the Jan Ahaar outlet, which does business to the tune of Rs 65,000 a day now, will soon have a Dosa Corner which SR’s Chennai division proposes to launch after refurbishing its environs.
It will follow the pattern of leading private retail food chains which offer a range of dosas, prepared on the spot, and served hot with tea or coffee, a senior SR official told Deccan Chronicle. SR has chosen to go ahead with the plan despite having minor staff shortage.
The Dosa Corner should be a real crowd puller for SR has kept its prices attractive. The price of a dosa is likely to be around Rs 20, which is nearly four times less than what the three leading food chains operating at Central charge, the official says, and 30 per cent less too than what the pantry car charges.
To make eating aboard trains more pleasurable, SR has also started replacing the dingy interiors of the existing pantry cars with glossy stainless steel. A highly placed SR source reveals that all panels, roof, floor and even windows, of existing pantry cars would be retrofitted with stainless components when they mandatory overhauling is undertaken every 18 months at Perambur Carriage Works for all coaches.
The aluminium-made kitchen floors, in particular, would be converted to stainless steel, which would make cleaning easy besides giving a glossy touch to the interiors.
They would also make the existing ventilation system in the pantry car more effective with improved exhaust fans which would be positioned scientifically to reduce the effect of heat generated by the kitchen. Additional safety features would be provided to make the area storing the gas cylinders safer, sources add.
Next: ICF gears up to produce AC pantry cars in four months
ICF gears up to produce AC pantry cars in four months
K .Karthikeyan | DC
Chennai: Integral Coach Factory (ICF), Chennai, the Indian Railways’ pioneering coach factory, will soon start producing fully air conditioned pantry cars of the Linke Hofmann Busch (LHB) variety.
The project is currently in the advanced stage of conception and commercial production of these pantry cars would begin in another four months, highly placed ICF sources revealed to Deccan Chronicle.
The proposed AC pantry cars will provide better hygiene and look visibly appealing, therefore making eating on board the train a pleasure for passengers. Cooks and others involved in food production will also enjoy a degree of comfort in an air conditioned ambience which will also increase their efficiency and involvement, sources said.
Similarly, electric coil heated stoves will replace LPG cylinders in the proposed pantry cars as use of LPG will not be advisable in an air conditioned environment.
The entire body of the AC pantry car would be made of stainless steel, which would make cleaning and regular upkeep easy. They would also have better facilities for the pantry staff.
Though ICF has decided to convert to fully AC pantry cars, it will also produce some that are non-AC on special request. Currently, ICF has received a few orders from other railway zones (not Southern Railway) for AC pantry cars. Though costlier than the conventional coaches, the German designed ergonomic LHB coaches have better anti-toppling features, fire-retardant ability and higher service life.