Talgo’s coaches may have been tried on the Delhi-Mumbai Rajdhani route, but will first ply on the major Shatabdi routes of Indian Railways. According to Anil Saxena, the Additional Director General Public Relations at Railway Ministry, talks are on to use the Talgo coaches on Shatabdi routes. Talking about the same to FE Online, Saxena said, “Right now the Talgo trials have concluded and there are a lot of technical readings that are being gathered by the RDSO to prepare the final report. But, I can tell you that Talgo’s coaches would first be used on Shatabdi routes.”
Asked about the likely routes and the time it will take for Talgo’s coaches to start plying on Indian tracks, Saxena said, “The routes have not yet been decided. As I said, a report is being prepared. Talgo’s coaches have lesser capacity compared to Indian Railways coaches. There is also the question of the height of the coaches. So keeping all these things in mind, and how soon we are able to find a solution to this, it’s difficult to give a timeline.” “But, I can say again that Shatabdi routes are under consideration for Talgo’s coaches,” he added.
Talgo, the Spanish manufacturer of high-speed trains has successfully completed its three-phase rigourous trials. The final run of the train was on the Delhi-Mumbai Rajdhani stretch, where Talgo proved that its coaches can help reduce travel time by 4 hours compared to the Rajdhani. The train left from New Delhi at 14:45 hours on September 10 and arrived in Mumbai Central at 02:33 hours, taking a total time of 11 hours and 48 minutes. According to Vijay Kumar, Executive Director, Infrastructure, this included around 6 minutes of unusual occurrences, implying that the train for the record purpose of Indian Railways actually took 11 hours and 44 minutes.
Watch: Exclusive interior preview of Talgo’s coaches
Talgo’s success is a big shot in the arm for Suresh Prabhu-led Indian Railways, which has been focusing on improving the speeds of trains on existing tracks. Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu had recently said that his vision is to ensure that it doesn’t take more than 12 hours to travel by train from one part of India to the other. During his Railway Budget 2016 speech, Prabhu had also spoken of ‘Mission Raftaar’, which will target doubling average speeds of freights trains and increasing the average speed of superfast mail/express trains by 25 kmph in the next 5 years. Multiple high-speed and bullet train projects are already in the works, and Talgo’s coaches it seems will lend a good push to Indian Railways dream.