In keeping with the budgetary proposal, Minister of Railways Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu flagged off India’s first semi high-speed train Gatimaan Express capable of running at a maximum speed of 160 kmph, at a ceremony held at Hazrat Nizamuddin Railway station. The launch of this train heralds a new era of high speed rail travel in India. Railway Minister has emphasized about increasing the speed of both passengers and goods trains in budget speech. Mayor, Delhi Shri Subash Arya, Shri Maheish Girri, Member of Parliament (Lok Sabha) were the distinguished guests on the occasion. Senior Railway officers include Shri A.K.Mital, Chairman, Railway Board, Members Railway Board, Shri A.K.Puthia General Manager, Northern Railway and Shri Arun Arora Divisional Railway Manager, Northern Railway, Delhi. Following the inaugural run from H. Nizamuddin, regular services will commence in the return direction from Agra Cantt. on the same day and from Hazrat Nizamuddin Railway Station.
While speaking on the occasion Minister of Railways Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu said that launching of Semi high speed Gatimaan Express was a big achievement for Indian Railways and had fulfilled the dream of Hon’ble Prime Minister. He further added that Indian Railway shell run more Gatimaan trains on different sectors and this would enhance tourism in India. He said it was their aim to increase average speed of all passengers and freight trains and Indian Railway have already started working on mission “Raftaar” and would be accomplished in 5 years time.
Powered by a 5500 HP electric locomotive, the non-stop train will have two Executive AC Chair Car and eight AC Chair Car coaches. The coaches to be used in Gatiman Express train are new LHB coaches with enhanced passenger amenities are turned out by RCF/Kapurthala. The coaches have been fitted with bio toilets and are fit to run at 160 kmph. The fare for chair car in fully air conditioned Gatimaan Express has been fixed at Rs 750, while for Executive Class it will be Rs 1,500.
The onboard catering on this train is being organized by Railways’ PSU, namely Indian Railway Catering & Tourism Corporation (IRCTC). IRCTC has made arrangements for deploying train hostesses also on board the train. This train will see improve catering and will have options for different kinds of cuisines. Another unique feature of this train is free of cost on board entertainment facility. Under this facility, passengers can view various entertaining videos during travel on their Smart Phones, Tablet or Laptops even without internet connection through Wi-Fi. In conjunction with this train, IRCTC has also arranged two different Agra guided tour packages to coincide with the Time Table of this Gatimaan Express. One package is for the full day whereas the other package is for two days, the details of which could be seen at www.irctc.co.in.
On this occasion Minister of Railways Shri Suresh Prabhu also inaugurated a new Executive Lounge constructed by IRCTC at Agra Cantt. Railway Station through remote from Hazrat Nizamuddin Railway Station. Having a seating capacity for 75-80 persons, to be launched in phases, the lounge is located on Platform No-1 of Agra Cantt station. Modeled like on airport lounges, the lounge at Agra Cantt station provides a range of complimentary and paid facilities such as meals on order, channel music, hot beverages (tea/coffee) and soft drinks, round the clock Wi-Fi facility, luggage racks for in-house passengers, wheel chairs, recliners, TV, train information display, Business Centre with fax, printers, desktops, newspapers and magazines, clean toilets and shoe shiners.
The services of the Executive Lounge will be available to passengers at a nominal entry fee of Rs.100 for two hours and Rs 50 for per additional hour. It includes the usage of Wi-Fi, toilets, recliners and browsing of newspapers and magazines apart from unlimited tea/coffee and soft beverages. Additional services such as the Wash & Change, meals and facilities at Business Centre are chargeable. Rate for wash and change is Rs 75. IRCTC also plans to provide more such executive lounges at Jaipur, Vishakhapatnam, Vijaywada, Howrah, Varanasi, Lucknow, Kanpur, Jammu.
Minister of Railways also commissioned the Main Concourse with enhanced facilities for passengers at Nizamuddin railway station. The renewed main concourse has been provided with counters for platform ticket, Enquiry, May I help you booth as well as offices for Station Manager, Ticket Checking staff, etc. It has been provided with a spacious porch area for easy access of station premises to passengers. This beautiful main concourse is expected to provide better aesthetics and convenience to rail passengers.