FM stations to keep rail travelers entertained, connected on the go

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Passengers may soon tune into popular FM radio stations on trains, with Indian Railway firming up plans to roll out a Rail Radio service for 'on-board infotainment'. Plan is to introduce the facility on about 1,000 Mail and Express trains, including premier services. Passengers will not only be treated to popular songs and music but will also be facilitated with public address system in coaches, along with updates on train related information on hourly basis. According to the plan, the system will be used to issue alerts in case of an emergency.

Besides jokes, astrology and other trivia, the history of Indian Railway and its major activities will also be part of the Rail Radio service. "We are in the process of finalising arrangements with some leading FM radio stations to provide entertainment as well as information to passengers on board about 1,000 Mail and Express trains including Rajdhani, Shatabdi and Duronto," said a senior railway official. Railway minister Suresh Prabhu had in his 2016-2017 budget speech proposed to invite FM radio stations for providing train-borne entertainment through public address systems on trains. Currently, only Rajdhani, Duronto and Shatabdi trains are equipped with PA system. Once Rail Radio service is in operation, all these premier trains will be linked with the system," he added. As per the plan, studios will be set up at Railway Board and all zonal headquarters to operationalise Rail Radio service.

Rail Radio service will be helpful during emergency situations like accidents or a natural calamity, the official said. "It will be easier to reach out to passengers during emergency through PA system from headquarters, adding, "There will be a slot for educating and creating awareness among passengers on disaster management." With a view to enhancing passenger comfort, a move has been initiated by the Railways to introduce new amenities including ergonomic seating and easily accessible dustbins in coaches. Plans to make available the bilingual on board magazine Rail Bandhu in all Mail and Express trains. Currently, the magazine is available only in Rajdhani, Shatabdi and Duronto trains. There is also a plan to publish Rail Bandhu in regional languages, the official said.

Courtesy : TOI



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