The country’s first Rajdhani express -- the Delhi-Howrah Rajdhani -- will complete 40 years of service on March one and the Railways have geared up to celebrate the occasion with a huge cake and a special menu for passengers.
The first Rajdhani was flagged off from New Delhi station in 1969 as a bi-weekly train to provide faster connectivity between metros. Operating at a speed of 120 kmph, it stopped only at Kanpur, Mughalsarai and Gomoh for operational reasons.
In the course of time, its success led to introduction of Mumbai Rajdhani and several more. On Thursday, as many as 16 Rajdhanis connect Delhi to the state capitals.
The main function will be held at Howrah station, with Railways planning to recreate a festive-like atmosphere at the station complex on March 3, the day when it was flagged off from there.
“The entire train rake will be wrapped with fancy stickers and passengers will be presented with mementos and brochures,” said an Eastern Railway official, adding, “the brochures will contain the train’s history.”
Northern Railway is still to draw up a plan to commemorate the day.
Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation, which serves food only in Rajdhanis, is planning to prepare a special menu to commemorate the day. A huge cake will also be cut before the train departs.