Railways to make Delhi-Mumbai train journey a ‘true overnighter’

The Railway Ministry is now assessing the results and will conduct further trials, said sources.

NEW DELHI: The 15-hour train route connecting two major business hubs – Mumbai and Delhi – will soon be upgraded to a “true overnighter” by reducing travel time by three hours, say media reports.

According to a report, the Railway Ministry will make improvements on the existing Rajdhani train that runs between the two cities. The railways conducted the first trial using the 14 Linke Hofman Busch (LHB) coaches of the Rajdhani, which took a little over 13 hours to complete the journey with two halts.

The currently running Rajdhani has 24 coaches and a sanctioned speed of 130 kmph, while its average speed is about 90 kmph because of the numerous curves and elements limiting speed. The Mumbai-Delhi route is 1,386 km long and the train in total takes 15.35 hours to complete the journey.

The ministry will assess the results of the first trial to update changes and conduct more trials. Railway Board Member (Rolling Stock) Ravindra Gupta, who originally came up with the proposal is in charge of the project.

Engineers say that the train will have to cut the existing six halts on the route to two, or even one. Efforts are being made to make sure the train can maintain the 130 kmph speed for longer despite the terrain.

The second, “more serious” trial will happen after the Railway Board meeting. This move is a part of the bigger plan of developing Delhi-Mumbai and Delhi-Howrah routes into special  semi-high-speed corridors. These busy routes have seen a passenger shift to airline services in recent years.