Rly to open train-themed eateries at 4 Delhi stations
The Northern Railway is set to enter the food and beverages space with four train-themed restaurants at four separate stations in Delhi as part of a revenue generating avenue, officials said on Friday
The Northern Railway is set to enter the food and beverages space with four train-themed restaurants at four separate stations in Delhi as part of a revenue generating avenue, officials said on Friday.
These multicuisine restaurants, which will use old train coaches that are no longer operational, will be open to railway travellers as well as the public at large, and will be placed on an artificial track. However, unlike train coaches that typically have 72 berths, these “coaches” will have a seating capacity of around 40 chairs.
The first of these eateries is set to open at the Ajmeri Gate side of New Delhi railway station later this month, officials said. The remaining three restaurants — at the Anand Vihar, Chanakyapuri, and Old Delhi stations — will open by February 2024.
Officials said the concept dine-in places will not just be a new experience for people, but will also promote sustainability by reusing old train coaches.
“As per our contract at the various stations, we will get a revenue share of ₹60-75 lakh annually from each such restaurant. It is an effort towards sustainability as we are trying to reuse the existing coaches that are unfit for use as train coaches. The coaches are also being set up in a manner that people waiting for trains can have food here, and even those who are not boarding a train can enjoy these restaurants without needing to enter crowded platforms or getting a platform train,” said Prem Shankar Jha, executive advisor to the divisional railway manager.
If successful, railways may also look at making it operational 24x7.
Riyaaz Almani, president of National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI), said, “I think it will be a unique experience for people of Delhi and it’s a step in the right direction. People are always nostalgic about trains, and it should do well. Railways have been known to introduce some iconic dishes like the railway cutlet and I hope people get to see some of these popular delights at their restaurants too.”
Delhi residents, meanwhile, said that while the restaurant is a good idea, affordability should also be ensured. “Just as trains are a more affordable travel option for the common man, the train restaurant should also provide food at rates that middle-class people can enjoy,” said Raman Singh, who lives in Mayur Vihar phase 1.
Jha said that the selected vendors will be able to decide the pricing and menu for the restaurants, but railways will continue to monitor these spaces that the pricing is not exorbitant.
Officials said that though the coach restaurant at New Delhi railway station will be a first-of-its-kind in Delhi, similar coach restaurants exist in Mumbai, Bhopal, Jabalpur, and Indore.