The Shatabdi Express from New Jalpaiguri to Howrah and back (train numbers 12041/12042) runs all days except on Sundays. There is a cleanliness in this train because in the morning the 12042 starts at 05:35 am from NJP, reaches Howrah by 13:35 or so, and then the same train becomes 12041 and runs back to NJP. There's no cleaning operation in between. The toilets have a stinking smell which irritated me a lot.

Next comes the catering segment which is handled by the IRCTC. Soon after the train departs Howrah, lunch is served. All the same menu for veg and non-veg people except for one dish. You'll get moong daal, rice, chapati,
howrah new jalpaiguri shatabdi express
curd etc. in general and veg people will get a paneer dish and non-veg people will get a chicken curry dish. Same for dinner as well. In other meals, you'll primarily get tea and snacks and a starter tomato soup before dinner is served.

Since the catering charges are included in the ticket, the passengers pay for it, then the food served should be of best quality and the menu should be attractive. The 12041 Horwah-NJP train gets both lunch and dinner while the 12042 NJP-Howrah train gets only lunch. So, the train which gets two major meals must provide different menus for the two meals. Who likes to eat same things in both lunch and dinner on a same day?

A very important aspect which cannot be overlooked, the 12041 HWH-NJP train reaches destination late in the night, around 11 pm practically. It's difficult for passengers to obtain conveyance to the nearby Siliguri town at that hour, and specially in the winter days. I'll write about railway retiring rooms in a separate post, there's much to write about that part.


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