For the first time in its 166-year history, Indian Railways is letting go of its monopoly on rail travel.

Beginning tomorrow (Oct. 05), commuters between Delhi and Lucknow will be able to travel in a “private” train that comes with swanky, aircraft-like frills. The Tejas Express, flagged off by Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath today (Oct. 04), is run by the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), an arm of the railways that recently made its stock market debut.

Upgraded facilities

For travellers, IRCTC is offering a range of newer, more modern facilities.

On-board entertainment

Meals with local flavour

RO water purifiers in every coach

Tea and coffee vending machines

Aircraft-style trolleys for personnel to serve passengers

Home-to-destination luggage pickup and drop facility

Free travel insurance with a Rs25 lakh ($35,000) coverage

Airport-like lounge access at railway stations in the offing

Compensation to passengers for delays

Call buttons to request crew service

Automatic doors

Onboard the Tejas Express, the IRCTC will have its own staff, such as ticket checkers, and service crew, though the loco pilots and guards will belong to Indian Railways.