If a Chinese train covering roughly 2300 km in about 10 hours in one of the severest of cold conditions, makes headlines, the Indian Railways may well be in contention for the dubious distinction of running the slowest trains.
A train has been running at a slumberous speed of about 10 km. per hour in this age of bullet trains. It has been delayed by as many as 116 hours and 27 minutes.
The 12488 Delhi-Jogbani Express is on the tracks for five days now having started its crawl on December 23 and is yet to reach Delhi. As per the projection it is likely to take about 139 hours and 43 minutes to cover the journey of 1383 km. running at the rate of 10 km. per hour.
The tortoise, according to information posted on the internet, covers about 0.21 km. to 0.48 km. per hour.
Five times late
Normally the Delhi-Jogbani express is supposed to take about 23 hours and 16 minutes to reach its destination, almost less than a day. Now it is running almost five times behind its scheduled time.
In India, the Dibrugarh (Assam)-Kanyakumari Vivek Express covers the longest distance of 4286 km. in 82 hours and 30 minutes.
The 12181 Jabalpur-Jaipur Express, which commenced its journey on December 24, is also set to surpass the journey time of Vivek Express. Usually it does the 896 km journey in 15 hours and 25 minutes, which it is now expected to complete in 98 hours and 23 minutes, trundling along at less than 9 km. per hour.
The 12506 Delhi-Guwahati Express which started its journey on December 25 is not far behind. It is 47 hours and 16 minutes behind the schedule. The train is scheduled to cover its 1867 km journey in 34 hours.
The mind-boggling delay has been attributed to fog conditions which have almost crippled services, with over 550 trains affected and 268 trains running late; about 186 other trains have been cancelled or short terminated or diverted, while about 110 others have been rescheduled across the country.