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Shatabdi will ease pressure

B. Madhu Gopal
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The Secunderabad-Vizag-Secunderabad train likely in coming budget

Minister of State for Railways Kotla Suryaprakash Reddy hinting at the possibility of introducing Secunderabad – Visakhapatnam – Secunderabad Shatabdi Express in the ensuing budget is like music to the ears of the people of Visakhapatnam region.

Almost all important express trains from Visakhapatnam to Hyderabad are running to full capacity and this high-speed train is expected to ease the huge waiting lists on them. It may be mentioned that the berths on trains to Hyderabad were booked months in advance before Dasara and now the same is the case for Pongal.

Shatabdi Express trains are among the fastest trains in India. The Bhopal – New Delhi Shatabdi is the fastest train in the country running at a speed of 150 KMPH, covering the 701 km distance in 7 hours and 50 minutes with five halts on the way.

The proposed Shatabdi train between Secunderabad and Visakhapatnam can cover the 699-km distance in about 8 hours and 30 minutes considering the fact that it would have three or four halts and taking into account the capacity of the track, say well-informed people who have been keeping track of the developments.

The proposed train can have a composition of seven or eight bogies with two EOG (End On Generator) car. It could have LHB rake with 78 seats in each Chair Car and 56 seats in Executive Chair Car, taking the total capacity to 602. Snacks, meals and beverages are served on board Shatabdi trains without any additional cost to passengers. These trains are day trains and one rake would be sufficient to run the train as they return to the originating station the same night. The proposed train can leave Secunderabad at 6 a.m. and reach Visakhapatnam by 2.30 p.m. via Vijayawada. It can have stops at Kazipet/Warangal, Vijayawada, Eluru, Rajahmundry and Samalkot. It has to cross almost three trains till Vijayawada with that schedule.

Our MPs should, however, ensure that the proposal is included in the ensuing railway budget.

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