Tejas… as it means lightening speed, might not be as fast as yet but still runs on time. The good old Jan Shatabdi express running between Goa and Mumbai has been there for a while I wanted to experience how the new so called ‘state-of-the-art’ Tejas Karmali express stands compared, with an all AC chair car coaches.
Here are a few things you should know before you take a ride.
Did you get the train code right?
Don’t worry if the phone app shows you some Tirupati express the moment you type the train code(when i tried booking), its because the IRCTC app on phone is still not updated. Instead try booking from your desktop website. Also check the updated time table before leaving because they might change it.
Karmali… which beach is it close to?
No it’s not close to Candolim or Benaulim but its close to Divar Island. Try not to get lost but just follow the map app and head to the east of Panjim. Follow the signboards and you may easily reach the station.
No digital boards on the platforms in here but only pillar numbers painted in blue on white boards! So head to the platform entry and look to your left, a big white board lists out the coach number to the corresponding pillar marked on the platform. Feeling hungry… be patient to be served by the one man army standing in a small tea stall serving snacks to an army of travellers… that’s what happened to me.
The automated doors are controlled by the driver and they do announce the closure at each platform so you cant go out for a smoke unless its opened at the station.
Wide open windows
Loved the big squeaky-clean glass window, no more of those ugly rusted railings… perfect to take photos of the valley. Too much sunlight causing a tan? Don’t worry the windows have a pull-down sun blocking screen. Cramped spaces are meant for flights only…. in here you get big leg space just like its big brother, the Jan Shatabdi chair-car seats.
Good news for heavyweights
Worried about luggage weight? Ample space on top of the seats (as well on the back of the coach). Even your big luggage bags will fit on the shelf above as long as you have muscles strong enough to do a dead-lift.
Sensor taps have been installed in the toilets to reduce water wastage so the travellers are complaining that there’s very less water in the washrooms… all because the taps are not free flowing. The toilets are much better designed with bio-toilets fitted in them and floors have a rubber mesh carpet.
All about song and dance
The entertainment screen did have a fair collection of movies, both Hindi, English and Marathi. And even Mughal-e-Azam is also there in the list! Games and songs are available too. Hey, where’s the headphone? You might want to carry yours or be ready to shell out some extra bucks and buy it on board.
Be ready to get hungry
Poor service, short staffed, am not sure but our breakfast was served very late! We boarded at 9 am but were served breakfast at around 11 am. Lunch was picked up from Ratnagiri and by the time it was served, it was almost 3 pm. Hungry in between… carry some packed food cause there’s nothing available on board. Food quality… I will not comment but its nothing compared to what is served on the Rajdhani Express.
Oh what a shot!
Plain wide open windows make it totally worth watching the view! So keep clicking cause that’s what i did!!
Yay or nay
Price wise its not as cheap as Shatabdi (both AC and non-AC) seat. While an normal AC chair car seat fare in Tejas Express starts at Rs 1400 (approx) as compared to Rs 940 (approx) in Jan Shatabdi Express. The Executive class in Tejas Express would cost almost Rs 2700(approx) which is similar to flight ticket, booked in advance.
For a frequent traveller on the Mumbai Goa route there are many options, both on road or through flight but if you want a clean and comfortable train journey while carrying big luggage bags and have ample time to enjoy the lovely terrain then go for this ride.