Dilli Chalo in 12 hours. In another two years, a superfast train traveling at an average speed of 200 kmph will take you to Delhi in just 12 hours.
This will be possible if the railway minister’s proposals are executed without a hitch. Rajdhani Express currently takes 17 hours to cover 1,447 km at an average speed of 130 kmph.
“We are improving train speed in nine corridors from the existing 110 and 130 kmph to 160 and 200 kmph, respectively. This is being done to ensure that the journey time between metro sectors such as Mumbai and Delhi and Kolkata and Delhi can be completed overnight,” railway minister R Suresh Prabhu said on Thursday.
Currently, 17 pairs of trains run between Kolkata and Delhi. According to railway officials, the travelling time will be reduced by at least 20% if the proposals materialise.
“We would soon complete the feasibility report and would replace the locomotive and rolling stocks in the next two years. We need new locomotives and rolling stocks that will help trains to run at such high speeds,” Eastern Railway general manager RK Gupta said. He said it will take another two months to complete the feasibility report.
Engineers from Easter n Railway claimed that the process of increasing the speed would also involve upgradation of tracks, including turnarounds, improve rolling stocks to higher standards and adopting improved methods of track recording, monitoring and maintenance.
“If the project is finally commissioned, each and every route between Kolkata and Delhi will benefit,” a senior engineer said.
Meanwhile, the Trinamool Congress threatened to launch a movement against the NDA government’s railway budget, calling it a “brakefail” document and rued that passenger fares were not decreased despite the easing of diesel prices.
In a reaction posted on the party’s website, the Trinamool sharply criticised the increase in freight rates and expressed concern that it would jack up prices of essential and in turn “affect housewives and farmers”.
“This is a brake-fail budget. This is a clerical and casual approach at a budget. We will protest against the budget,” it said.
Ridiculing Prabhu’s announcements on cleanliness, the Trinamool said “Swachh Bharat cannot be achieved with only a broom. Ideas should also be there.”
The party ter med the announcements on safety and anti-collision devices as old ideas.
It also pulled up the railway minister for “depriving” and putting an extra burden on West Bengal, saying projects worth hundreds of crores of rupees remain stuck in the state while the allocation stands at less than one per cent.