Indian Railways is set to enhance its onboard food catering services by developing 110 new pantry cars over the next two years. This initiative aims to improve convenience for passengers who rely on in-train food options. Currently, premium trains such as Vande Bharat, Shatabdi, Rajdhani, and Tejas already feature pantry cars, ensuring passengers have access to meals during their journey without concerns about availability.

Deepak Kumar, the Northern Railway Chief Public Relations Officer, highlighted that the new pantry cars are crucial for enhancing passenger comfort. These cars will be equipped to meet the dietary needs of travelers who cannot bring their own food or simply prefer to dine onboard. The production of these pantry cars is scheduled to be completed in two phases: approximately 55 cars will be manufactured by 2024-25, with another batch of 55 cars slated for production by 2025-26.

Special trains, often deployed during festive seasons like Holi, Diwali, Raksha Bandhan, and summer holidays, typically do not include pantry facilities. This absence poses challenges for passengers who rely on these trains but face difficulty in procuring meals during their journey. To mitigate this issue, vendor trains are sometimes stationed at platforms adjacent to the coaches, offering food options for travelers. However, purchasing food from unauthorized vendors can be expensive and may compromise on quality.

Recognizing the need to provide consistent food services across all train categories, Indian Railways has prioritized the development of pantry cars to ensure a reliable and hygienic food supply onboard. While pantry cars are standard in premium and some express trains, the challenge remains to extend these services to special trains that operate irregularly and without dedicated food facilities.

Deepak Kumar emphasized that while pantry cars cannot be installed in every special train due to operational constraints, the provision of vendor trains at platforms offers a viable alternative for passengers seeking wholesome meals. This approach aims to enhance passenger satisfaction by ensuring access to affordable and quality food options throughout their journey.

As the initiative progresses, Indian Railways continues to focus on improving the overall travel experience by integrating efficient catering solutions across its diverse train services. The development of 110 new pantry cars underscores a commitment to meeting passenger needs and enhancing the appeal of train travel in India.