The Indian Railways aims to beat its speed record after a gap of 28 years with the inaugural run of the Gatimaan Express on Tuesday.
Gatimaan Express, India’s first semi high-speed train, will cover the 184 kilometre-distance from Hazrat Nizamuddin station to Agra in 100 minutes, clocking a maximum speed of 160 kmph. The Bhopal Shatabdi--with a maximum speed of 150 kilometers per hour--is currently India’s fastest train.
Railways minister Suresh Prabhu will flag off the train at Hazrat Nizamuddin station in the presence of minister of state Manoj Sinha and three MPs including, Karan Singh and Parvez Hashmi.
“The Gatimaan holds huge symbolic value, as it will also showcase the future of rail travel in India,” Neeraj Sharma, chief public relations officer of Northern Railway, said.
It has been indigenously built, with one train costing an estimated Rs 50 crore, at the rate of approximately Rs 3 crore per coach. The 12 coach train - with two executive classes, eight chair cars and two pantry coaches - will have hotspot infotainment options, besides being fitted with bio-toilets, LED lights and microbusters for good fragrance.
Fares for Gatimaan have been fixed at Rs. 750 for chair car and Rs. 1500 for executive class as against the existing Shatabdi fare of Rs. 515 for chair car and Rs. 1010 for executive class.
As part of plans to monetise train services, the railways have worked out two package tours with separate tariffs for domestic and foreign travelers.
Apart from the fare component - a one-day package tour will cost Rs. 1967 for domestic passengers and Rs. 3197 for foreigners. The package offer for a two-day tour for domestic passengers has been fixed at Rs. 14243 and Rs. 16121 for foreigners.
The package rates, however, are in for an upward revision on account of the hike in entry charges at the Taj Mahal, sources said.
The Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) will manage the catering and hospitality operations on the Gatimaan. A choice of cuisine including Punjabi, South Indian and continental food will be on offer.
Each coach will have a uniformed host and a hostess to greet passengers. Train coaches will have murals and paintings depicting places of historical importance in Delhi and Agra.
Gatimaan will leave Hazrat Nizamuddin at 8.10am everyday and reach Agra at 9.50am. From Agra, the train will depart at 5.50pm to reach New Delhi at 7.30pm.