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Inaugural run of Duronto on Sunday

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ON FAST TRACK: The Duronto Express bound for New Delhi readies for its first journey from Kochi.
ON FAST TRACK: The Duronto Express bound for New Delhi readies for its first journey from Kochi.

Staff Reporter

KOCHI: The Ernakulam-New Delhi weekly Duronto Express train announced in the 2009-'10 Railway budget would have its inaugural run from here on Sunday morning.

The coaches covered with vinyl wrapper have yellow and green graphics over them. The brand-new coaches arrived here a few days ago. The train will return to Ernakulam on March 13. The regular service of the non-stop train from Ernakulam through Konkan will be from March 16.

“The train has a First AC coach with 24 berths and a Second AC coach with 54 berths. The four Third AC coaches can together accommodate 288 passengers, while the eight second class sleeper coaches can house a total of 640 passengers. There would also be two sitting cum luggage vans and a pantry car,” said the Ernakulam Area Manager George John.

It would be a new experience for passengers to travel in the non-stop train which has better-designed and lengthier coaches with wide windows. The stainless steel coaches built at the Kapurthala coach factory can accommodate 72 passengers in AC 3 tier, unlike regular coaches that hold 64 people. Similarly, the second-class sleeper coaches have 80 berths, as compared to 72 in regular coaches.

Under the modified design, the toilet waste is discharged onto tracks only after the train attains a minimum speed (around 35 kms per hour), thus ensuring the cleanliness of tracks in railway stations.

As per a tentative schedule, the Duronto Express would leave Ernakulam every Tuesday at 11.30 p.m. and reach Hazrat Nizamuddin at 7.30 p.m. on Thursday. The return train would leave Hazrat Nizamuddin at 9.35 p.m. on Saturday and reach here at 3.30 p.m. on Monday. Details of the consolidated fare are yet to be announced.

Meanwhile, the Railway's Red Ribbon Express would call at platform five of the Ernakulam Junction railway station on Sunday and would remain here through Monday. Members of the public can visit the train that is on a mission to create AIDS awareness, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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