BANGALORE: Denizens of this tech hub will soon have the privilege of travelling in an high-speed air-conditioned double-decker express to Chennai, covering a distance of about 360 km in a little over two hours.
Of the seven new express/mail trains Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi announced Wednesday for Karnataka in the 2012-13 rail budget, introduction of a daily non-stop AC double-decker express will be eagerly awaited as it will reduce the travel time between the two cities by three hours from the five hours the Shatabdi Express currently takes.
"Reducing travel time from Bangalore to Chennai by nearly three hours will be possible, as the double-decker express coaches are designed and built to run at 150 km per hour on upgraded tracks with no stoppages," a senior South Western Railway (SWR) official told IANS here.
Of the seven direct express/mail trains operated between the two cities, two are Shatabdis on six days a week, which run at 110 kmph, and two are inter-city trains that take over six hours due to their many halts.
"The double-decker express will be launched as soon as we get the new coaches and funds to upgrade the tracks, which currently enable Shatabdis to travel at 110 kmph," the official said on condition of anonymity.
The double-decker rakes, comprising eight stainless steel coaches and two power cars, are manufactured at the Rail Coach Factory at Kapurthala in Punjab.
"A double-decker coach can carry 128 passengers in comparison to 78 in a Shatabdi chair car, increasing the capacity by about 70 percent. With lower weight per commuter, the coaches are more energy efficient," the official pointed out.