NEW DELHI: The Railways on Thursday successfully conducted a trial run of semi-high speed trains on Delhi-Agra section. Expected to be operational by November, the train will cover the distance in 90 minutes running at 160 km per hour and will cut down travel time by 30 minutes.
Presently, the fastest train in India is New Delhi-Bhopal Shatabadi Express which runs at a speed of 150 kmph. The Railways is also expected to run similar high speed trains on Delhi-Kanpur and Delhi-Chandigarh stretches.
“It is another leap to break the existing speed barrier of trains in the Indian Railways network. The trial run was conducted successfully and we hope to start commercial service by November,” said Deputy Regional Manager (DRM) Delhi Division Anurag Sachan. The train took 99 minutes between New Delhi and Agra Cantonment Railway Station and while its return took 103 minutes. It has been planned to start the high speed trains on tracks between Hazrat Nizamuddin and Agra Cantonment on which it took 89 minutes and 90 minutes on the return journey respectively.
The 10-coach train is chugged by a WAP 75400HP engine and several senior railway officials were on board including P K Bajpai, the Commissioner of Railway Safety .
The Railways had about 16 speed restriction areas and curves in the entire route which are now being upgraded to improve the speed at a cost of `15 crore. There will be a fencing for a stretch of 27 km track to prevent obstruction and ensure speed.
The Railways is also conducting feasibility study on two stretches to start bullet trains at a speed of 300-350 kmph. The experts have already selected Pune-Mumbai-Ahemdabad and Delhi-Chandigarh-Amritsar for trials. The announcement regarding the same is expected in the Rail Budget by July 8.