Delhi: Gatimaan Express, the first semi high-speed train service between Delhi and Agra which would touch speeds of up to 160 kmph, is likely to be launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the second week of June.
The trials of the semi-high speed train have already been conducted twice on the 200-km-long tracks between the two destinations and awaited now is the mandatory clearance from the Commissioner of Railway Safety (CRS). “The clearance from CRS is expected any time and we are gearing up to launch the train by June 9,” said a senior rail ministry official.
Equipped with a 5,400HP electric locomotive and 12 modern coaches, the train will run at a maximum speed of 160 kmph and is expected to cover the 200-km distance in about 105 minutes. Railways is celebrating Modi government’s completion of one year in office with a fortnight of programmes from May 26 to June 9.
The official said plans are afoot to have the Prime Minister flag off the train here on June 9 depending on his calendar. Asked about the time that is being taken up for the launch of the train, he said that CRS had raised certain concerns over the service which have now been addressed.
While the tracks have been fenced off at certain places, signalling system has been upgraded along the route to be taken by the semi high-speed train. The train also comes with extra features such as emergency braking system, automatic fire alarm along with the passenger information system and sliding doors inside the coaches.
The fare for Gatimaan Express will be 25 per cent more than what a Shatabdi passenger has to pay. Railways has chalked out nine more routes for running similar trains, including Kanpur-Delhi, Chandigarh-Delhi, Hyderabad-Chennai, Nagpur-Bilaspur, Goa-Mumbai and Nagpur-Secunderabad.