Passengers in Rajdhani Express from Mumbai Central to New Delhi can save one-fourth of their travel time when Spanish-made Talgo trains begin service on the route before the end of this financial year.
Here are some facts about the trial run being undertaken by Western Railway.
TALGO is the acronym for Tren Articulado Ligero Goicoechea Oriol in Spanish, meaning light articulated train.
Talgo trains have a maximum speed of 250kmph in temperatures ranging from -20°C to 50°C.
The train is designed for its manoeuvrability while it can take curves without affecting passenger comfort. It can maintain its high speed as the carriage tilting system tilts the coaches inward when cornering.
A 30 per cent more efficient 4,500-HP diesel engine pulls the coaches. Just like in Rajdhani and Shatabdi trains, Talgo has 9 light-weight coaches consisting of two executive cars, four chair cars, a power coach and a guard's coach that can accommodate equipment.
Railway officials said the trial run between Mathura in Uttar Pradesh and Palwal in Haryana had been successfully completed with the train clocking a speed of 180kmph, making it the fastest train in India. The testing engineers are now ready for test run between Mumbai and Delhi. The first trial in the series will be a 130kmph-speed test with the train starting from Delhi on the night of August 1. It will arrive at Mumbai Central the next day and leave for Delhi on August 3. Then the train will be tested for safety of running from Delhi to Mumbai at 150kmph. The trial runs will ensure that the rakes can run smoothly at varying speeds.
Talgo train can run on the existing Indian rail tracks without major overhauling of tracks. Spanish-made Talgo train will begin service on the Mumbai-Delhi route by March 2017 and could cut short the journey time to almost 12 hours. Currently Rajdhani takes 16 hours.
Talgo trains have cosy interiors. Each passenger has a video monitor for personal entertainment. There is ample leg space with footrest, reading light and table.
Fast trains in India
Gatiman Express that runs between Delhi and Agra at 160kmph is the fastest train in India. Western Railway will set a new speed record with the introduction of the Talgo train on the Mumbai-Delhi route covering 1384km in 12 hours at an average speed of 125kmph. Right now the Delhi-Mumbai Rajdhani Express covers the same distance in 16 hours at an average speed of 88kmph.
New routes in the future
Introduction of high speed train in other routes like Delhi-Kolkata, Delhi-Chandigarh, Delhi-Varanasi and Delhi-Chennai is being considered by the Railway ministry. Feasibility study which was done on the proposed bullet train for Delhi-Kolkata route suggests that the travel time for the 1513km route can be as little as five hours.