The Delhi-Mumbai special Rajdhani Express that was launched with much talk of reduced travel time has hardly been punctual since its launch in October! Scheduled to complete the Delhi-Mumbai journey with two locomotives in around 14 hours, the special Rajdhani Express takes much more time than that. This has prompted Western Railway to consider increasing its run time by around an hour, states a PTI report. The Bandra Terminus-Hazrat Nizamuddin special Rajdhani Express, which was touted by the railways as the fastest train between Delhi and Mumbai, with a run-time of about 14 hours, is now likely to take an hour more to reach its destination. Sources quoted in the report said that the step was proposed by Western Railway and was signed off by Northern Railway, North Central Railway and West Central Railway. However, the proposal is now with the Railway Board for consideration, they stated.
The sources mentioned that out of the 120 trips that the train made, it ws punctual only thrice. Moreover, on its return journey to Bandra, it stuck to its schedule only 10 times. At present, the train journey takes 13.55 hours and the run-time which has been proposed for the special train is around 15 hours. According to the proposed revised timings, instead of 4:15 PM, the train will depart at 5:10 PM and instead of 6:10 AM, the train will reach Hazrat Nizamuddin station in Delhi at 8 AM. On its return direction, instead of 4:05 PM, the train will depart at 5 PM and instead of 6 AM, the train will reach Bandra at 7:45 AM, the sources stated.
With an aim to cut the travel time between the two cities, the train was introduced in October for a period of three months. The railways thought that with the introduction of the new train, passengers will be provided with a cheaper premium option costing Rs 600-800 less than the other two Rajdhani Express train services running on the route. From Delhi, the special Rajdhani chugs off on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, and from Bandra on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
The sources also said that the train has been extended till the month of September this year and once approved by the board, the train will run according to the revised schedule. At present, the route is served by August Kranti Rajdhani Express in about 17 hours and Mumbai Central-New Delhi Rajdhani Express in under 16 hours in the premium category.
Northern Railway GM Vishwesh Chaube was quoted in the report stating that there is no proposal right now. However, whatever changes are to be made will be effective from the next timetable, which is expected in a month, he said. Further, he added that similarly paced trains have also been proposed to run in a bunch in the next timetable, which will improve sectional capacity and punctuality.