India's fastest train flagged off
By agencies | Wednesday, 15 February 2006, 08:00 Hrs | 1 Comments
NEW DLEHI: Heralding a new era in rail travel, India's fastest train the Delhi-Bhopal Shatabdi Express was on Wednesday flagged off by Railway Minister Lalu Prasad. The new train will reduce journey time between the 198-km Delhi-Agra stretch from the present two-and-a-half hours to less than two hours, railway officials said. A superfast WAP-5 locomotive will pull the train comprising all new coaches. Rail tracks along the Delhi-Agra have been fortified to withstand the high speed of 150 kmph, the officials said. The Shatabdi category of trains presently travels at a speed of 120 kmph. Concrete walls have been raised stretches along the tracks till Agra to avoid any intrusion by people and stray cattle. The new electric locomotive and modern coaches have been tested for all parameters during the trials and traction and signaling mechanism has been upgraded to ensure safe and comfortable ride for passengers. The Commissioner of Railway Safety has given its clearance for the train. Senior railway ministry officials also said about 400 trains will be upgraded to super fast status as part of the railways' plans to improve passenger services. "Around 400 mail and express trains are to be upgraded to super fast trains to reduce travel time. Several trains are to be rescheduled to cut down daytime travel," the official said. Rescheduling such trains would take place so that passengers are not forced to waste daytime traveling.