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'The pantry services in Deccan Queen is excellent'

November 17, 2015 09:54 IST
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We had asked you, dear readers, to share memories of what you ate on train journeys.

Here are some more interesting responses. You can share yours too!

Vinod Shettigar from Aundh, Pune says that railway authorities should conduct surprise checks to test the quality of food served in passenger trains.

"I am a regular traveller by Deccan Queen and the pantry services in this train is excellent.

"The food quality and hygiene has been maintained as is all these years.

"This is because Deccan Queen is specially being monitored by top railway officals.

"It has been said that the GM of central railway makes a check of the pantry of this train.

"Moreover all the staff in this train are railway employees (not hired on contract).

"The quality and hygiene is maintained in some of the good trains like Mumbai Delhi Rajdhani and Shatabdi Express.

"Recently I travelled by Shatabdi from Pune to Hyderabad and the services were excellent.

"But when you travel by other trains you cannot expect the same kind of service.

"I once travelled by Jaipur Super Fast and the food quality was not good.

"The staff in some of these long distance trains live and work in the pantry day and night without break or holidays.

"So one has to take into consideration the conditions they work in.

"This indirectly affects the services of catering.

"The railway has to conduct surprise checks in these trains and verify the quality of services provided by a particular caterer before awarding a new or renewing their old contracts.

Rediff reader Priyabratta Dash, 36, from Bhubaneswar, Odisha has good memories of the lunch ordered on the Coromandel Express.

Dash says: "During the late 1990s I used to travel often between Bhubaneswar-Chennai route, mostly by Coromandel Express, as I was a student, studying in Chennai, and would journey to and from Bhubaneswar where my family stayed, twice or thrice a year. 

"The train had a pantry car attached.

"The lunch which I ordered was mostly non-vegetarian, chicken meal, consisting of hot chicken curry, in a foil sealed pack, jeera rice, yellow dal fry, and salad.

"The food used to be hot and the chicken, quite fresh.

"The quantity was less but the quality was good. 

"The price was quite reasonable in terms of quality. 

"The service was also prompt. 

"Today, the serving staff must improve their behaviour towards the customers.

Meanwhile, K Baburaj, a regular commuter in Indian Railways has more than one bad experience to narrate.

He says: "I regularly travel across India.

"Once I travelled between Chennai and Secunderabad and ordered veg thali, which got delivered near Renigunta.

"The roti was like papad and the dal was like fresh water in yellow colour.

"Another time while travelling from New Delhi to Ludhaina through Shan-e-Punjab express, I had ordered for breakfast, which was not delivered.

"Also no one took responsibility.

"We are lucky if the food ordered is delivered on time. And if it tastes good, we are the luckiest.

R K Suman from Ukku Nagaram, Vishakhapatnam shares a recent incident that led him to quit eating rail meal altogether:

"I travel from Visakhapatnam to Chennai frequently and it is always very difficult to get good food in the train.

"Recently, I travelled with my family to Tirupati from Visakhapatnam.

"In the morning time, at Gudur Railway station, my daughter felt hungry and I bought one plate of wada and idli for breakfast.

"My six-year-old daughter ate that.

"After reaching Tirupati, she was in a horrible state.

"She was vomiting continuously and started showing symptoms of food poisoning.

"As her condition deteriorated, we abandoned our earlier plan to proceed to Tirumala and decided to stay in Tirupati only.

"We got her treated through a doctor and with lot of difficulty, after two days, we returned to Vizag without having darshan of Lord balajee with full family.

"After this sad experience, I vowed not to eat any cooked food item in the train.

Mumbai-based Bimal Dholakia, aged 50, tells us how the food served in the Indian Railways pales in comparison to what it was about four decades ago.

"Since 1970, I have been travelling all around India by Indian Railways.

"In those days food quality was somewhat good and today I should say it's horrible. 

"I have experienced that even the quality of food supplied in trains like the Shatabdi and Rajdhani is classless.

"Due to fear of contracting diseases by eating such food, I have stopped consuming food from railway pantries and kiosks at railway stations.

"My last purchase was a cup of tea and sandwiches from Itarasi and my experience was horrible.

"The quality of tea and coffee is also rubbish.

"The railway minister should concentrate on the quality of food supplied in the train as well as on the station.

"Instead of expanding services, it is now high time to correct the existing infrastructure, quality of food, coaches, etc.

"Despite us paying such a handsome cost, sometimes parallel to air travel, the services in AC two tier coach is in dilapidated condition -- the lavatory, washbasin as also the quality of cushions and bed rolls are the worst."


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Have you travelled by Indian Railways? Share your memories of the meals you have had on Indian trains.

If you have pictures, send us those as well. Mail us at and we will feature the best entries on Rediff.comand India Abroad.

Don't forget to mention your NAME, AGE and the place where you LIVE.

Lead image used for representational purposes only. Image: Adrian Sulc/Creative Commons

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