When app glitch turned Punjab Mail into a bullet train
The mobile phone app displaying the nine-minute journey the train took to cover 32 km between Faridkot and Ferozepur Cantt railway stations on September 6.punjab Updated: Sep 18, 2017 19:41 IST
A week before Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe announced the launch of the 320kmph Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project, a glitch in the railways app for travellers inadvertently declared the Mumbai-Ferozepur Punjab Mail a close contender.
On September 6, a glitch in the National Train Enquiry System or NTES, the Indian Railways app, showed Punjab Mail (train number 12137) ran from Mumbai’s Chattrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus to Ferozepur Cantt junction at a speed of 213.3km/hr. According to the app, the train achieved this feat while covering the 32 km distance from Faridkot to Ferozepur Cantt in nine minutes.
This means it surpassed the fastest train in India today, the Delhi-Agra Gatimaan Express (train number 12050) that runs at a speed of 160 kmph.
But the fact of the matter is that the top speed of the Punjab Mail is 110kmph and it runs at an average speed of 57 kmph.
Sharing his experience, Raman Vohra, 24, a student at Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU) in Ludhiana, said he took the Punjab Mail from Delhi to Ferozepur. When he checked the NTES app on his phone on September 6, he found the train departed from Faridkot at 5.56am and reached Ferozepur Cantt at 6.05am, covering 32 km. “In reality, the train was late by an hour. It took me half an hour from Faridkot to Ferozepur Cantt. I reached at 6.30am,” he said.
The railway timetable says the train departs from Faridkot at 4.51am to reach Ferozepur Cantt at 5.50am.
Ravjot Singh, 39, a businessman who often takes the Punjab Mail to Delhi from Ludhiana, said the railways’ claims of punctuality often contradict reality. “When trains run late by two hours, the software shows the train is on time or late by only one hour,” he said.
When contacted, Sukhwinder Singh, the additional divisional railway manager of Ferozepur division, said, “There must be something wrong with the software. I will get it checked.”
Divisional railway manager, Ferozepur division, Vivek Kumar said, “It could have been a typing error. We are inquiring into the case and will try our best to rectify such errors.”