Railway minister Mamata Banerjee announced the introduction of 12 ‘non-stop’ trains while presenting her third railway budget in Lok Sabha on Friday.
Although Banerjee claimed such trains were being initiated “for the first time in our history”, railway sources noted the Sampurn Kranti Express, running between New Delhi and Patna since 2002, was already one such. So were some of the Shatabdi Expresses.
The non-stop trains, which will start and terminate at major cities across the country, from Ernakulam in the south to Jammu in the north to Kolkata in the east, will be called Duronto (Bengali for hyperactive) trains.
They will have both airconditioned and non-airconditioned sleeper classes and will run either once, twice or thrice a week. They may stop briefly en route to change drivers, load fresh food and the like, but not for passengers to board or disembark.
“Modalities such as fares and reservation charges on these trains are still being worked out,” said S S Khurana, chairman, Railway Board.
Apart from the Durontos, Banerjee announced her intention to introduce another 45 new trains including yuva (youth) trains between Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata. These will provide only seated accommodation, but also charge much less than sleeper trains.
Officials said they were intended for the poor and the youth in far off rural areas who wanted to travel to large cities.