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India commissions first semi high-speed train

Business Standard:  April 06, 2016

Agra: Rishu Anand is a business consultant working in Delhi and, like many excited over the launch of Gatimaan Express, took the train’s maiden trip to Agra on Tuesday. A frequent traveller to the Taj city, Anand was disappointed with his experience of Gatimaan.

“There is hardly any attraction except good food on Gatimaan, compared to Shatabdi. At the 50 per cent higher tariff, the trip is not worth it. I will prefer taking Shatabdi the next time,” Anand, who visits Agra every two months, told Business Standard.

India on Tuesday commissioned its first semi high-speed train. The train, Gatimaan Express, with around 230 passengers on board, covered the 188-km distance between Delhi and Agra in 100 minutes travelling at a maximum speed of 160 km per hour.

Rail Minister Suresh Prabhu inaugurated the train from Hazrat Nizamuddin railway station here, amid loud cheer and applause by a 500-strong crowd that gathered at the station to witness the historic event. “It is the happiest day for Indian Railways as we are launching the first semi high-speed train. We are planning to gradually increase the speed on all trains as part of Mission Raftaar,” Prabhu said.

Trains under the new service will operate on all week days, except Friday when the Taj Mahal is closed for tourists. Gatimaan Express will start from Nizamuddin railway station at 8.10 am and reach Agra Cantt at 9.50 am. On the return journey, it will start from Agra Cantt at 5.50 pm and end the journey at 7.30 pm at Nizamuddin.

The Gatimaan Express is powered by a 5,500 horsepower electric engine, the best so far produced by the Chittaranjan Locomotive Works, a unit of Indian Railways. The train carries 10 coaches, similar to the ones used by the Shatabdi Express, including two executive class and eight AC chair car coaches.

Disclaimer: This information has been collected through secondary research and IBEF is not responsible for any errors in the same.