New, faster Mumbai-Delhi Rajdhani on the cards

Premium train will be third Rajdhani to connect the cities, and will halt at Bandra

September 19, 2017 12:11 am | Updated 12:11 am IST

Better, faster: The new Rajdhani is expected to cut travel time to 13 hours

Better, faster: The new Rajdhani is expected to cut travel time to 13 hours

New Delhi: The railways is planning to introduce a new and faster Rajdhani Express on the Mumbai-Delhi line in the next few months, senior officials said on Monday. It will be the third Rajdhani to connect the city with the national capital. Likely to be launched by Diwali, it will cover the distance between Bandra and Hazrat Nizamuddin station in Delhi in 13 hours.

Presently, the route is served by the August Kranti and the Mumbai Central-New Delhi Rajdhani Express trains. Both take more than 15 hours to cover the distance between the cities. While the August Kranti Rajdhani takes a little over 17 hours to cover 1,377 km at an average speed of 80 kmph, the Mumbai Central-New Delhi (or just Mumbai Rajdhani, as it is often referred to) train takes around 15 hours 35 minutes, clocking an average speed of 89 kmph to travel 1,386 km. Neither halts at Bandra.

“The trial run [for the new train] will start in a couple of days. We are using the existing 24-coach Mumbai Rajdhani with two engines to see if we can make the journey shorter by a few hours. We are using Linke Hofmann Busch (LHB) coaches,” a senior railways official said. Alternatively, sources said, the railways could introduce the new Rajdhani with 14 coaches and one engine to increase speed, and then determine which of the two is the better option.

The Mumbai Rajdhani has a sanctioned speed of 130 kmph. However, numerous curves and speed restrictions on the route bring the average speed down to about 89 kmph. The railways is hoping to increase this to 90-95 kmph, sources said.

LHB coaches are of a superior design that reduces the chances of derailment and mitigates the possibility of grievous injury or death in case of accidents. These coaches have anti-climbing features and superior braking. Sources said LHB coaches, designed to run at a top speed of over 150 kmph, will be able to make the 13-hour cut-off if the current six halts were to be brought down to three or two.

While an effort is on to increase average speed, the maximum speed of the new Rajdhani is likely to be maintained at 130 kmph. The Delhi-Mumbai line is important for the railways as the route, once the reserve of business travellers, has been losing passengers to airlines. This route is also one of the two to be developed into special corridors with semi-high speed services.

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