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Fastest trains in India before high speed rail system took over

The decision to launch the first bullet train in India was announced in May 2016, and is set to travel from Mumbai to Ahmedabad from 2023.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: June 23, 2016 4:46:24 pm
high speed rail system, bullet trains, gatimaan express, bhopal shatabdi express, Delhi Mumbai Rajdhani express, Sealdah Duronto express, Indian railways, India japan Mou, Japan Indian railways, history of indian railways, India news The decision to launch the first bullet train in India was announced in May 2016, and is set to travel from Mumbai to Ahmedabad from 2023.

High speed Rail systems to connect the four major cities of India (Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai) was one of the main propositions made by the BJP prior to the 2014 general elections.

Soon after the elections, India and Japan signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to jointly examine the Mumbai to Ahmedabad route, for the sake of introducing India’s first bullet train service.

First Bullet train to be launched- Mumbai to Ahmedabad

The decision to launch the first bullet train in India was announced in May 2016, and is set to travel from Mumbai to Ahmedabad from 2023.  The bullet train is expected to cover 508 km in about two hours, running at a maximum speed of 350 kmph and operating speed of 320 kmph. Estimated to cost about Rs 97,636 crore, 81 per cent of the funding for the project will come by way of the loan from Japan.

Also Read: First bullet train to run in India by 2023: Suresh Prabhu

Announcement of second bullet train- New Delhi to Varanasi

As per a recent report, the second bullet train service of the country is set to run from New Delhi to Varanasi.  The train would cover a distance of 782 kms in 2 hours and 40 minutes, going via Aligarh, Agra, Kanpur, Lucknow and Sultanpur. At present, the Delhi-Varanasi train service takes an approximate time ranging between 10 and 14 hours to be completed. The estimated cost of the Delhi-Varanasi stretch is approximately Rs. 43,000 crore. However, as per an official, the final cost would be worked after a detailed field study.

Pictures: Top ten fastest trains in the world

The Indian railways network in the fourth largest in the world, the first, second and third positions being claimed by the United States, China and Russia respectively. Ever since the railway system was nationalised in 1951, improving speed has been top on the agenda of each successive government.

Watch video Gatiman Express: This is India’s Fastest Train

Let us take a look at some of the fastest running train services in India.

Fastest train in India- Gatimaan Express

high speed rail system, bullet trains, gatimaan express, bhopal shatabdi express, Delhi Mumbai Rajdhani express, Sealdah Duronto express, Indian railways, India japan Mou, Japan Indian railways, history of indian railways, India news Flagged off on April 5th, 2016, the Gatimaan Express runs between the Hazrat Nizamuddin railway station in New Delhi and the Agra Cantonment station

Currently, the fastest train running in India is the Gatimaan Express. Flagged off on April 5th, 2016, the Gatimaan Express runs between the Hazrat Nizamuddin railway station in New Delhi and the Agra Cantonment station. The ‘semi-bullet train’ is said to run at a top speed of 160 kms per hour, going at an average speed of 100 kms per hour.

Fastest train in India before Gatimaan Express- Bhopal Shatabdi Express

high speed rail system, bullet trains, gatimaan express, bhopal shatabdi express, Delhi Mumbai Rajdhani express, Sealdah Duronto express, Indian railways, India japan Mou, Japan Indian railways, history of indian railways, India news The Bhopal Shatabdi was initiated in 1988 and runs at a 140 km per hour, making it the second fastest train in India. (Source: Wikimedia commons)

Before the start of the high speed train service projects in the country, the fastest train running was the Bhopal Shatabdi Express which is part of the superfast train series. The Bhopal Shatabdi was initiated in 1988 and runs at a 140 km per hour, making it the second fastest train in India.

Mumbai-Delhi Rajdhani Express

high speed rail system, bullet trains, gatimaan express, bhopal shatabdi express, Delhi Mumbai Rajdhani express, Sealdah Duronto express, Indian railways, India japan Mou, Japan Indian railways, history of indian railways, India news Before the debut made by the Bhopal Shatabdi, the Mumbai-Delhi Rajdhani was the fastest train in India. (Source: wikimedia commons)

Introduced on May 17, 1972, the Mumbai and Delhi Rajdhani express runs at an average speed of 91 km per hour, making it the fastest among the Rajdhani trains. The train would initially cover the distance of 1385 kms in 19 hours and 5 minutes. After the route was electrified in 1993, the train now takes 15 hours and 50 minutes to make the journey. Before the debut made by the Bhopal Shatabdi, the Mumbai-Delhi Rajdhani was the fastest train in India.

Sealdah-New Delhi Duronto Express

high speed rail system, bullet trains, gatimaan express, bhopal shatabdi express, Delhi Mumbai Rajdhani express, Sealdah Duronto express, Indian railways, India japan Mou, Japan Indian railways, history of indian railways, India news The Sealdah-New Delhi Duronto was the first train to be introduced in the Duronto series. (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

The Duronto category of trains was introduced in 2009 with the purpose of covering long distance routes without any technical stops. The Sealdah-New Delhi Duronto was the first train to be introduced in this series. The train covers a distance of 1452 kms in 16 hours and 55 minutes, running at an average speed of 85 kms per hour.

The Indian railways have been proposing high speed rail projects since 2007-08. However, high construction costs, difficulties in route fixation and lack of sufficient research and development in the country are some of the challenges which have delayed the initiation of the project.

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