The Mumbai-Pune Intercity Express will now run at least 30 minutes faster. The train will take 2 hours 40 minutes to complete the distance between the two cities, instead of the 3 hours 10 minutes it took earlier. This makes the Intercity Express faster than even the Deccan Queen.
The train achieved this feat with the introduction of the ‘Push and Pull’ technique of the Central Railway (CR), in which two locomotives are attached to the rake instead of just one — one in the front and one in the rear — to increase the speed of the train.
A senior railway official said the use of two locomotives essentially provides more stability to the train. It reduces jerks, shunting time and the time taken to accelerate and decelerate on curves. The trial run of the train began on Friday.
According to the new schedule, the Intercity Express will leave CSMT at 6.45 am instead of 6.40 am and arrive in Pune at 9.20 am instead of 9.57 am. The train departs from Pune at 5.55 pm and arrives at CSMT at 8.35 pm instead of 9.05 pm.
The train ferries at least 1,000 passengers every day from both sides. The new technique will save passengers travelling both ways more than one hour of commute every day.
The CR had sent a proposal to the railway board about reducing the travel timing between Pune and Mumbai. According to the official, “A plan was prepared early in May. We planned to introduce the push and pull arrangement to the Intercity Express to shorten the time taken to travel between Mumbai and Pune to 2 hours 30-40 minutes. Our aim was to make the service a better alternative to the shared AC taxi services going via the Expressway, which take more than 3 hours 15 minutes to travel between Pune and Mumbai.”
“The push and pull arrangement enables quick pick-up after starting from stations, clearing points (track crossovers) and caution orders. Saving a few minutes at each point adds up to substantial time saved in the end. Along with the push and pull method, line clearance is required to reap the maximum benefits of the quick pick-up and braking,” he added.
According to officials, the technique will soon be introduced in the Deccan Queen, too. The new Link Hoffman-Bush (LHB) rake of the Deccan Queen, which connects Mumbai and Pune, will use the technique to cut travel time. Currently, the Deccan
Queen departs from Pune at 7.15 am and arrives at CSMT at 10.25 am. It then leaves CSMT at 5.10 pm and reaches Pune at 8.25 pm.
“The move helps us reach our office and home on time. This will save us a lot of time,” said Jayant Kulkarni, a commuter of the Intercity Express.