After the successful launch of Gatimaan Express, the Railways has undertaken a mammoth exercise of reducing journey time on the Delhi-Howrah and Delhi-Mumbai routes by increasing the speed of trains up to 160 km per hour at an estimated cost of Rs. 10,000 crore.

“We have firmed up an action plan to increase the train speed up to 160 km per hour on the total 9,000-km main trunk routes across the country as part of the Mission Raftaar project. To begin with, we have started the work on two major busy routes of Delhi-Mumbai and Delhi-Howrah,” said a senior Railway Ministry official involved in the project.

Railways has recently introduced Gatimaan Express between Delhi and Agra at 160 km per hour speed.

Strengthening of the track, upgrading of signalling system and fencing off vulnerable sections along the route are to be undertaken to ensure the speed on the two busy corridors, as per the plan.

While the Delhi-Howrah route is used by about 120 passenger trains and around 100 goods trains every day, some 90 passenger services and an equal number of freight trains run on the Delhi-Mumbai corridor daily.

 “Once these two major routes are upgraded to 160 km per hour speed, there will be scope for launching more passenger trains in these sectors. This will reduce the waiting list of passengers in some of the popular trains as many more such services with similar facilities will be on the offer,” the official said.

As far as cost is concerned, the official said, it was being calculated and is estimated to cost about Rs. 10,000 crore for the two sectors.

All zones involving the two corridors have been instructed to undertake the work as a mission so that trains can move at a maximum speed of 160 kmph in the next three years.

The 1,400-km-long Delhi-Howrah and the 1,500-km-long Delhi-Mumbai rail corridors are among the two major busy routes of the Golden Quadrilateral of Indian Railways. Other routes are Howrah-Chennai, Delhi-Chennai and Chennai-Mumbai. — PTI