New Delhi: Coinciding with the Commonwealth Games, Northern Railway will be running a special Shatabdi train between Delhi and Agra from October 3. The train will cater to tourists, athletes and officials who plan to the Taj Mahal Tours during the games. The railways said the special train that will run at a speed of 140 km/hr, will function non-stop. “The train will leave Delhi in the morning and will reach Agra in 75 minutes. It will return to Delhi in the evening the same day,” said a senior railway board official.
Talking to Times City, Manish Tiwary, CPRO, and Northern Railway said this train will have a capacity of 600 persons. “We are consulting the organising committee to fix the fare for the route. We plan to charge in accordance to the prevailing Shatabdi Express’ fares. In addition, we will be using LHB coaches, those used in Shatabdis and Rajdhanis, to give passengers a comfortable ride,” added Tiwary.
According to railway officials, an internal audit has found that the maximum foreign tourists rush to Agra and Jaipur. “Since we are an important sponsor of the CWG, we can use this opportunity to compete with the road transport. We want to keep the fares competitive so that we stand a proper chance against the road services,” said an officer.
The railways said they were also mulling the option of running a service to Jaipur if they get a positive response from the railway board. The railways has already announced that the special heritage, which runs with steam engines, will operate between Delhi and Rewari at the weekends.
Northern Railway officials said special care will be taken in deciding the food items in these trains. “We will prepare the menu keeping the tastes of international tourists in mind,” said a railway Bhavan officer.
Courtesy the Times of India Aug 13, 2010.