Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) recently launched India’s first Travellers’ Executive Lounge at New Delhi railway station. Built on the concept of airport lounges, the lounge on the Ajmeri Gate entry side of the New Delhi railway station, completed at a cost of Rs five crore is equipped with all the facilities such as buffet meals, snacks, tea/coffee and soft beverages, 24-hour wi-fi facility, luggage racks, wheel chairs, television displaying minute to minute train information, business centre with fax, book shop, facilities for wash and change, etc. It can accommodate 125 passengers at a time.
Spread across 300 square metres area, the lounge also houses one stop convenience journey solution store operated by service provider, WH Smith. IRCTC has partnered with SSP Catering India to operate the facility.
Speaking at the launch of the facility, Rakesh Tandon, Managing Director, IRCTC said that the facility has received good positive response from the passengers during the ten-day trial run. “We are extremely proud to present a world-class product in the form of the IRCTC Travellers’ Executive Lounge to passengers in New Delhi Railway Station,” he said. Passengers can use the facility at Rs 300 for three hours 24x7, he added. He said that the concept was ready two years ago, but took another two years to set-up the first facility. “It will be now easier for us to replicate the model at other stations,” he added.
Tandon said that around 50 railway stations have been identified across the country by the Railways to extend this facility and ten railway stations will be taken up on a priority basis in the next financial year. The identified stations include three more railway stations in the NCR – Delhi; Nizamuddin; Anand Vihar – and three in Mumbai city – Bombay Central; Lokmanya Tilak Terminus; Bandra Terminus; among others. According to Tandon the stations have been identified considering the footfall, tourism importance of the place, etc.