New Delhi, Apr 6: Heralding a new era of semi-high speed trains in the country, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu on Tuesday (April 5) flagged off India's fastest train, the Gatimaan Express, which on its first official covered the 200 km distance between Delhi and Agra in 100 minutes.
Train hostesses welcoming passengers with roses on board the Gatimaan Express, catering Indian and continental snacks in the 1 hour 40 minute journey and more legroom could be some of the striking features, but the much touted semi-high speed train is not all that 'fast and fantastic' as it seems.
Here are the reasons why Gatimaan Express failed to live up to its hype:
With an average speed of 160 km/h, Gatimaan Express has been termed as India's fastest train but it is marginally above Bhopal Shatabdi Express, which held the previous record of 150 km/h. Therefore, a marginal increase by mere 10 km/h is certainly not that impressive, in an era when our neighbour China has bullet trains.
Second important striking feature of Gatimaan Express is the maximum time it takes to cover the distance of 200 km. Gatimaan Express takes 1 hour 40 minutes while Bhopal Shatabdi takes 1 hour 57 minutes. Not to forget Bhopal Shatabdi leaves from New Delhi Railway Station, which increases the distance covered by 7 kms. Thus, the semi-high speed train wins the race by mere 17 minutes.
Fare of Gatimaan Express is Rs 750 for Chair Car (CC) while Bhopal Shatabdi charges Rs 515 for the same distance for the same category. And the passengers will be served their morning breakfast in the later too (if not all those variety served on ) so why shell out Rs 235 more?
Higher fare for better seating, free Wi-Fi and airline comfort:
If you are interested in experiencing an airplane-like ambience, access free WiFi while travelling in the train and savour Indian and Continental delicacies served by smiling train hostesses, then Gatimaan Express would be treat for you.
Those who travelled on the train on its maiden journey narrated their experiences saying the WiFi still a lot of room for improvement.
Other mode of transports will give Gatimaan Express stiff competition:
There are other modes of transport for tourists travelling to Agra. There are various AC bus services in the Delhi-NCR plying via Yamuna Expressway which offer great comfort and provide some extra facilities to the tourists. As per Jaypee Infrastructure, the concessionaire of Taj Expressway, around 50,000 vehicles ply on both sides of the Expressway.