On Saturday, Railway Board Chairman A K Mittal clarified and said, “Gatimaan Express, in fact, is not a high-speed train. Virtually it is a medium high-speed train.”
Refuting some media reports which said the new train will take only one-and-a-half hour for the entire journey, the chairman said “90-minute’s journey time between Agra and Delhi, in fact, is brain child of media. From our side, the calculated running time would be 105 minutes.”
It would take an estimated 105 minutes for the Gatimaan Express, which can touch a top speed of 160 kmph, to complete the journey between the two stations, Mittal told reporters here while on a visit to inspect the Mathura junction.
Mittal said high-speed trains run at a velocity of 250 kmph and for that separate arrangement has to be made.
The first of its kind semi high-speed train service between Delhi and Agra is awaiting the mandatory security clearance before its launch, Railway Board Chairman Mittal said in Mathura .
“The final date (for flagging off Gatimaan Express) would be declared when we get green signal from the Commissioner of Railway Safety,” Mittal said.
“At present Railway is making feasibility of such train between Ahmedabad and Mumbai”, he added.
Inaugurating waiting room facility for upper class and sleeper class at second entry point of Mathura junction, Mittal said the Railway was committed to maintaining punctuality of the running trains.
“Eighty per cent of the trains are running on time. However, we are trying to enhance this percentage by controlling different factors like equipment, track among others which affect the run.”
“Already we are running over 100 per cent capacity of the infrastructure available for running of trains. Sometimes when one train gets late, it makes adverse impact on other trains”, he added.
To a suggestion that the train be stopped at Mathura also, the chairman said adding stoppages would defeat the purpose of introducing the Gatimaan Express, which will be equipped with a 5,400HP electric locomotive and 12 modern coaches.
The senior official also said that unmanned railway crossings are being converted either into a subway or overhead bridges, to reduce chances of accident.
The timings or runnings schedule of Lucknow-Jaipur Express and Chhapra Express between Lucknow and Mathura may be changed as the chairman was told that neither Railway is getting any financial leverage nor passengers are getting any facility as both these trains run between Lucknow and Mathura merely at
difference of 90 minutes on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
“We shall get the case examined and then needful would be done”, said Mittal, flanked by General Manager, Northern Central Railway, Mahesh Mangal.
The Railways, for the time being, has no plan to enhance ex-gratia amount in case of accidents, he said.
On his plan to make his tenure memorable, Mittal said, “Instead of making my tenure memorable my effort is on running trains on time and to maintain cleanliness. My satisfaction would be on better functioning of the Railways.”
The chairman also held interactions with passengers to take feedback of Railways.