Gatimaan Express: India’s first semi-high speed train flagged off

Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu on Tuesday flagged off the much-awaited Gatiman Express for Agra from Nizamuddin station. Targeting tourists, Nizamuddin-Agra Gatiman Express, the first semi-high speed service in railways, will run at a speed of 160 kmph and is expected to cover the 200 km distance in 100 minutes. “Launching of ‘Gatimaan Express’ an important step for our Railways,” Prabhu said after flagging of the train.

The train will have hostess to welcome passengers with roses and usher them to their seats with soft music playing in the coaches. The 12050 Nizamuddin – Agra – Nizamuddin Gatiman Express will run six days a week except Friday on both directions.

According to the schedule, the train will start journey from Nizamuddin at 8.10 AM to reach Agra at 9.50 AM. In the return direction, the Gatiman Express will depart from Agra at 5.50 PM to reach Nizamuddin at 7.30 PM.

Equipped with a 5,400 HP electric locomotive, the train will have two Executive AC Chair Car and eight AC Chair Car coaches. According to railways, the Gatiman will have best possible services matching the flight services in catering.

Since the fare will be 25 per cent higher than Shatabdi Express, catering services in Gatiman Express will also be better. Like flights, a senior railway official said there would be hostesses on the train and catering will also match the standard of airliners and passengers will be greeted with flowers.

Both Indian and continental cuisine will be served. Passengers will have an assortment of food to choose from. There will be wholewheat upma, mini dosa, Kanjeevaram idli, fresh cut fruits, aloo kulcha with swiss roll, roasted dry fruit and chicken roll.

Chicken sausages with Spanish egg white omelette and date walnut slice cakes will also be served in bone china crockery.

The train will have a high-power emergency braking system, automatic fire alarm, GPS-based passenger information system and sliding doors in the coaches.

The fare for chair car in fully air conditioned Gatiman Express has been fixed at Rs 690, while for Executive Class it will be Rs 1,365. In Delhi-Agra Shatabadi Express, the chair car fare is Rs 540 and Rs 1,040 for Executive Class.

Railways plans to roll out such trains on 9 more routes including Kanpur-Delhi, Chandigarh-Delhi, Hyderabad-Chennai, Nagpur-Bilaspur, Goa-Mumbai and Nagpur-Secunderabad.