Talgo’s semi-high speed train’s maiden trial on the Delhi to Mumbai Rajdhani stretch may have been hit by heavy rains and track washout, but the Spanish company can draw consolation from the fact that Indian Railways has termed the run as a success. “The Talgo train fully succeeded in its maiden trial between New Delhi & Mumbai. From Delhi to Surat, Talgo’s train took around 2 hours less in comparison to Rajdhani Express,” said the Suresh Prabhu-led Railway Ministry. The average running speed of the Talgo train between the New Delhi to Surat was 106.52 kmph as compared to Rajdhani’s average speed of 89.76 kmph on that stretch.
Vijay Kumar, Executive Director, Infrastructure at Railway Board believes that Talgo’s train would have taken three hours less than Rajdhani. “See till Surat Talgo saved two hours. That is it took two hours less than Rajdhani, and that is what it had claimed. Had the trial run gone as per schedule, I am sure it would easily have saved a total of three hours over Rajdhani,” Vijay Kumar told FE Online. “This is the dawn of a new era in passenger transportation for Indian Railways,” he added.
Talgo’s nine-coach train, pulled by an Indian Railways engine, departed from New Delhi at 19:55 hours on Monday. Talgo’s train, owing to heavy rains enroute and point failure at Mathura Junction, reached at 11:36 AM at Mumbai Central. Rajdhani Express takes 15 hours and 50 minutes to traverse the distance between New Delhi and Mumbai Central. If Talgo’s trial had gone as per schedule and without any glitches, the train would have taken 12 hours 47 minutes for the journey, that is approximately 3 hours less than Rajdhani. “Water logging beyond Surat between Udvada–Vapi–Bhilad section considerably delayed the movement of trains as speed restrictions had to be imposed for safety reasons. Accordingly beyond Surat the Talgo train could not implement its trial schedule,” said Railways.
Watch: Exclusive interior preview of Talgo’s coaches
“It (Talgo) travelled through the same route which is followed by the New Delhi– Mumbai Rajdhani Express train No. 12952. It also observed the same permanent and temporary speed restrictions as well as the sectional speeds of Rajdhani Express Train No. 12952,” said the Ministry of Railways. The last trial of Talgo’s train will be conducted at a maximum speed of 150 kmph and will be the most crucial, because it will test the claim that a train journey between Delhi and Mumbai can be completed in 11 hours and 38 minutes.