In a landmark launch, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu flagged off The Gatimaan Express, India’s fastest train from Hazrat Nizzamuddin Station today, to the background music of a shehnai. In its maiden journey, the train running at a speed of 160 km per hour reached Agra Cantonment, a distance of 188 kms in just 100 minutes.
Suresh Prabhu said, “It is a happy occasion for us as the first semi-high speed train Gatiman starts today. We want to increase speed of all trains whether ordinary or express as part of our raftar mission. It is not an easy task. It will take time but we have made a plan.”
A total of 224 passengers became a part of the first ride of Gatimaan Express, which left the Hazrat Nizamuddin Railway Station at 10.10 am and reached its destination at 11.50 am. After the journey, passengers shared their first hand experience and expressed that Indian Railways should run such trains to other routes too.
This ultra modern train ushers in a new era of high speed travel in India. It runs on a powerful “WAP5” 5,500HP engine, has high power emergency braking systems and boasts 12 new Linke-Hofmann-Busch AC coaches manufactured by the Rail Coach factory in Kapurthala.
The train will run daily, both ways, except on Fridays which means that tourists can make a trip to Agra and be back within a day. Each AC coach seat will cost Rs. 750 and Executive AC coach seat Rs. 1500.
A journey on this state-of-the-art train promises to be a luxury experience for travellers. Apart from reaching Agra in less than 2 hours, balanced draft gear couplers have been fitted in coached to ensure a super smooth ride.
Passengers were welcomed aboard with roses and guided to their seats by hostesses aka airlines. The hostesses were deployed by Railways PSU IRCTC to take care of on-board services.
Large windows, comfortable seats, air conditioned plush interiors, bio toilets, automatic sliding doors, GPS passenger information systems have been made available in coaches, adding to the charm of travelling on this train.
Passengers will be spoiled for choice in vegetarian and non vegetarian North Indian, South Indian, Continental and Health cuisines. Apart from that, a variety of juices and breads, shami kebab, omelette, Swiss rolls, uttapam and other tidbits will be on array.
Indian Railways spokesperson Anil Saxena said, “The train has specialized features to cater to every age group of citizens. From infotainment, upgraded menu to better service on board. If need be, coaches will be added in the train.”
The Indian Railways plan to launch more such trains for nine other routes in the near future including Kanpur-Delhi, Chandigarh-Delhi, Hyderabad-Chennai, Nagpur-Bilaspur, Goa-Mumbai, and Nagpur-Secunderabad.