UNI. Sunday, February 12, 2006 09:44 IST
NEW DELHI: India’s fastest train, that will run at a speed of 150 km per hour between Delhi and Agra thus reducing travel time to less than two hours, will be flagged off later this week by Railway Minister Lalu Prasad.
The New Delhi-Bhopal Shatabdi Express will now run from the national capital to Agra at a speed of 150 km per hour, as against the earlier speed of 120 km per hour, a Northern Railway spokesman said. The speed of the train during the rest of the journey will, however, remain the same.
The flagging off of the train by the Railway Minister, which was earlier scheduled for February 10, has now been postponed to sometime later this week. Also expected to be present on the occasion are Union ministers Kapil Sibal, R Velu and Ajay Maken.
The increase in the speed of the train will reduce the travel time between New Delhi and Agra, from two hours and fifteen minutes at present, to less than two hours, the spokesperson said.
Successful trials of the New Delhi-Bhopal Satabadi on the 198-km stretch between Delhi and Agra have been going on for the last few months. The improved new electric locomotive and modern coaches have been tested for all parameters during the trials.
The track has been strengthened and technical upgrading of traction and signalling mechanism has been carried out to ensure a safe and comfortable ride for the passengers. The Commissioner of Railway Safety (CRS) has given his clearance for the run.
In the entire section that falls under two zonal railways -Northern Railway and North Central Railway-concrete walls have been put up and fencing done at stretches along the track to avert trespassing by people or stray cattle.
The braking system has also been upgraded to forestall any eventuality.
For the first time, the modern high speed locomotive WAP 5 would be used by the Indian Railways. In addition, state-of-the-art coaches like the German ones used on the Delhi-Lucknow Shatabdi would be attached to the super-fast train to provide comfort and luxury to passengers.
Railway officials say, the super-fast train will boost tourism in Agra – the city of the Taj. It would also pave the way for other trains to run.