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Better late than never
India's new fastest train prospect arrives an hour late on its second trial run 

After its first trial run ended with a three-hour delay, the Indian Railways completed the second trial of the high speed, lightweight Spanish-made train, Talgo, between New Delhi and Mumbai, just days before the country’s 70th Independence Day. As against the target of completing the 1,384-km journey in 12 hours and 35 minutes compared to the nearly 16 hours taken by the Rajdhani Express, the nine-compartment train managed to cover the distance in 13 hours and 17 minutes, at an average speed of 102 kmph — but still over an hour late. Two trials were earlier conducted to observe its oscillation and speed on the Moradabad-Bareilly and Palwal-Mathura sections. Though the train, built in aluminium, can touch 220 kmph, the Railways has capped the speed at 180 kmph. The fastest speed that the trial dished out was 150 kmph, but on a short stretch after the train left from New Delhi. The Spanish coach is a 30-year-old train, but if it passes the speed and safety parameters, Railways is looking at inducting a brand new train. However, the seating capacity of Talgo is lower than that of Rajdhani and at a cost of 5 crore, it doesn’t come cheap. Whether the Railways will opt for speed over capacity remains to be seen.

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