North Eastern Railway’s (NER’s) much awaited Double-Decker Express between Lucknow and Delhi may embark upon its maiden journey on March 1. Officials with NER said on Thursday that the announcement is expected in the Railway Budget on February 26.
On Wednesday, a team of 10 officials carried out the final trial run of the train from Gomti Nagar to Daliganj, which was successful. “A series of trials conducted so far have been successful and we have also got the clearances. So, it’s ready to take off,” said a senior NER.
The train would be bracketed under day trains and may have timings similar to that of the Gomti Express, but with fewer stoppages-Bareilly and Moradabad.
One of 10 double-decker trains operational in the country, NER’s double-decker would be the first such train in the state. It arrived in the city in June last year.
On October 18, 2014 the train underwent a trial run between Lucknow and Anand Vihar Terminal Station in Delhi. It had a smooth run till ANVT, but the picture changed during the return journey the next day. On its way back to Lucknow, the train scraped twice against the platform in Moradabad due to its humongous size.
Till now, the train could not be inaugurated and operated because of issues of clearance between the North Eastern Railway and Northern Railway.
“Since the train had to get clearances of the Commissioner Railway Safety before plying, it was caught up in between,” the officials said. However, they now claim that all clearances have been obtained and the train-which offers 40 % more accommodation than normal trains-is ready to ply.
“It’s timing would be similar to Gomti Express and it will be a day train. There is a high possibility that we will hear an announcement in the budget,” said NER divisional railway manager (Lucknow) Anoop Kumar. He refused to comment on the fares.