On April 5th, 2016 the much hyped Gatimaan express (train # 02050 /02049) was flagged off. This part of Indian PM Narendra Modi’s election campaign promise of running semi high speed trains in India. So under 2 years he has a train on the ground which is touted as the fastest train in India. Well at present it is the fastest train in India at a top speed of 160 km/hr. Now how fast is the fastest train from former fastest train? Well it’s a mere difference of 5 – 10 km/hr. The runner up is the Delhi – Bhopal Shatabdi express which runs at a top speed of 150 – 155 km/hr. It was the first Shatabdi train and was launched in 1988 on the birth centenary of India’s first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru. Are we saying since then we could progress a mere increase of just 5 – 10 km/hr!
Well on speed (gati), I don’t see much gati! But it does score point on service. It introduces for the first time hostess on Indian train and infotainment. Like the shatabdi and Rajdhani expresses, Linke Hofmann Busch coaches were used. These coaches are now made in India at the Rail Coach Factory, Kapurthala, Punjab under transfer of technology from LHB Germany which is now part of Alstom, France. IRCTC has also offered tour packages synchronized with the time of Gatimaan express.
It definitely good addition for anyone who wants visit Agra from Delhi in the morning and return in the night. For a tourist who wants to see more of Agra than the Taj Mahal and Agra fort, one day is not enough. The Gatimaan express runs on all days except Friday (Taj Mahal remains close on Friday). It is a new standard when it comes premium trains in India. But did it really achieved its intended goal of semi high speed !!