Not up to speed

Railways’ latest offering, the Gatimaan Express, despite its name, is not exactly fast — it saves you just 10 minutes

Published 4 years ago on Apr 20, 2016 Read
Photo courtesy: PTI

The railways ministry is trying to get itself up to speed with a series of new launches. But the Gatimaan Express, flagged off in the first week of April and deemed India’s first semi-high speed train, hardly qualifies. At 160 kmph, the train just about bests the Bhopal Shatabdi, which clocks 150 kmph, reaching Agra just 10 minutes earlier than the latter’s 110-minute runtime. So, why all the hue and cry? Well, as things stand, the Gatimaan Express is pushing the entire Taj Mahal tour experience; two packages — spread over one day or two in Agra — are on offer on IRCTC, with varied rates for domestic as well as foreign tourists. Then, there is the fact that the train was indigenously made at the Railways’ Kapurthala factory for Rs.50 crore. Fancy a ride? The service is all set to run six days a week between Hazrat Nizamuddin station in Delhi and Agra Cantonment, with two executive AC chair car coaches and eight AC chair car coaches. Eight more routes are also to be introduced soon.