Thursday, January 3, 2013

Central Railway Plan To Start Rajdhani From CST

Railway commuters residing in the eastern suburbs,

Thane and Kalyan have been demanding that CR start the service. "The existing services from Western Railway (WR) are not much of help for those who live in the eastern suburbs and beyond," said a daily commuter.

Currently, two Rajdhani trains originate in Mumbai Central. "The proposal will come up for discussion in the timetable committee meeting to be held in the second week of January 2013," a senior official said.

"If the proposal is approved, then an announcement is likely to be made in forthcoming railway budget," he added.

Currently, only Punjab Mail travels to New Delhi from CST. The train traverses a distance of 1,544 km and halts at 56 stations during its 26-hour journey.

"The distance between Mumbai and New Delhi (by CR network) is only 1,535 km and can be covered within 20 hours. The Rajdhani will halt only at prominent stations this will help cut down the travel time," a senior CR official said.

The distance between Mumbai Central and New Delhi (through Surat and Vadodara) is 1384 km.

A train takes almost 16 hours to cover this stretch. August Kranti Rajdhani trains, which also take more or less the same time, and follow a similar route from Mumbai Central.

The railway board cites this reason for not introducing a Rajdhani-type train on CR. "Some are also of the view that those using the existing Rajdhani train between Mumbai Central and New Delhi are from the affluent classes. It has a huge demand because of which this route has become financial viability," an official said.

"There are doubts if a Rajdhani-class train on CR (through Bhopal) will enjoy the same patronage."

Countering this perception, a senior official said, "It is a misconception because berths in most of the 3-tier class train compartments on important routes get booked minutes after bookings open. We can also introduce more number of 3-tier coaches on CR Rajdhani as compared to WR Rajdhani to make it financially viable."

It is but natural that the premier train should also ply on the stretch on which the Indian Railway made it maiden journey between Boribunder and Thane on 16 April 1853.

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