The Indian Railways introduced Garib Rath Express in the year 2005. This service was for the poor train travelers who could not afford the air-conditioned journey of other Indian trains, such as Shatabdi Express and Rajdhani Express. The train is fully air-conditioned and often faster than other trains in the super fast category of the Railways. The train runs at a speed of 130 km per hour. Garib Rath literally translates into ‘poor man’s chariot’ referring to the poor people’s train. The train offers facilities of microwave, oven and refrigerator. There is an electronic display of next station, the distance to be covered and the expected time of reach. The train’s compartments are decked with paintings depicting Indian heritage. These Indian trains make few stoppages when compared to other trains. The train began its journey from Saharsa in Bihar to Amritsar in the state of Punjab. The opposition party to the government in power had criticized the selected route for the journey of the train. Many said that as many natives of the state of Bihar had migrated to Punjab, the then railway minister, himself a Bihari, had political reasons to select the route. Despite the initial controversies, the train received high accolades by the travelers.
Garib Rath Express: The Poor People’s Chariot
Few of the Garib rath Express trains are the bi-weekly Jabalpur to Allahabad train via Mumbai, the weekly Bhopal to Lucknow, the Lucknow Garib rath special from Indore to Bhopal junction and the Nagpur-Pune Garib rath running thrice every week. Others include the tri weekly Old Delhi via Lucknow to Varanasi and the Ranchi to New Delhi Railway Station bi weekly train via Barkakana.
According to its timetable, the earliest departure time of the fully air conditioned train for the poor people is seven thirty in the morning and the last departure timing is eleven five at night. The official website of the Indian Railways- Indian Railways Passenger Reservation Enquiry facilitates the schedule of the trains along with all the information on the running of trains. The online booking for the seats could be done through the IRCTC facilitated by the Indian Railways. Passengers could check the availability of the Garib rath Express for a desired destination via their desired route and accordingly make reservation.
The train provides its passengers the facilities of pillows and blankets at a nominal cost. The successful running of the Express has boosted the government to increase the service of these trains and start new ones on various different routes connecting several cities.