New Delhi: Gatimaan Express, India's first semi-high speed train, has been launched today. It was flagged off by Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu.
- India's first semi-high speed train to run between Delhi and Agra
- It will operate 6 days a week, except Fridays when Taj Mahal is closed
- Fare for AC chair car is Rs. 750 and Rs. 1,500 for executive AC chair car
The new express train will operate between the national capital's Hazrat Nizamuddin station and Agra Cantonment station. It will operate six days a week, except on Friday.
The new express train can attain a maximum speed of 160 km per hour, according to the Ministry of Railways.
"The launch of this train heralds a new era of high-speed rail travel in India. Railway Minister has been emphasising about increasing the speed of both passenger and goods trains in his budget speeches," the ministry said in a statement.
The Gatimaan Express train comprises of two executive AC chair cars and eight AC chair car coaches. The fare for a single AC chair car seat will be Rs.750, and that for the executive AC chair car seat Rs.1,500.
The ministry elaborated that the on-board catering on the new train will be carried out by the Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), a railway undertaking.
"IRCTC has made arrangement for deploying train hostesses on-board the train. This train will see improved catering and will have options of different kinds of cuisines," the statement added.
The new train also provides on-board entertainment facility free of cost by a private agency -- MyFreeTv.in.
"Under this facility, passengers can view various entertaining videos during the travel on their smartphone, tablets or laptops even without internet connection through Wi-Fi," the statement said.
In addition, the ministry pointed out that the express train features new LHB (Linke-Hofmann-Busch) coaches fabricated by Rail Coach Factory (RCF), Kapurthala.
"These coaches have been fitted with bio-toilets and are fit to run at 160 km per hour. These coaches have also been fitted with balanced draft gear couplers for a smooth ride," the statement added.
The new express train is hauled by an electrical engine, "WAP 5", which has a power output of 5,500 HP.