The flaring red Rajdhani Express, which connects the financial capital with the country’s capital, is getting longer. By July-end the current lot of Mumbai-Delhi Rajdhani Express trains that run on 18 coaches, will run on 21 coaches, thus adding 200 more seats for passengers.
The importance of this addition in coaches and seats is that this is the first time that Rajdhani trains starting from Mumbai will have 21 coaches, since the first ran in 1972. Rajdhani Express is considered to be among the elite train services run by the Indian Railways, which connects the capital of the state with India’s capital.
For over three decades, the railways were running normal 16-coach Rajdhani trains, until they began operating LHB made coaches for this train in 2004, when the number of coaches was increased to 18. These LHB coaches are considered to be sturdier and have a more powerful motor that enhances the speed of these trains. Currently, the LHB coaches of Rajdhani trains can cross speeds of over 130 km/h, which can even touch 160 km/h at certain stretches on this route.
The fully air-conditioned Rajdhani trains have two generator motor cars on each end which power these coaches. Sources said that presently, technical changes are being made to ease the process of adding coaches to the Rajdhani Express. “We are adding capacitors inside these LHB coaches that won’t put too much pressure on the generator cars,” said a Western Railway official on condition of anonymity.
There are nearly 120 LHB coaches that would require these technical changes before they can actually run 21-coach Rajdhani Express trains. Sources added that presently there are enough coaches to run a 21-coach Rajdhani Express between Mumbai Central and Delhi, but they want to first carry out necessary changes in all coaches.
Nearly three months ago, the WR authorities completed work on extension of platforms at Mumbai Central main line station at a cost of Rs 19 crore. This has allowed them to run longer trains and increase carrying capacity by 33 per cent. There are five platforms, of which four would have the capacity to accommodate 24-coach trains, while the fifth one caters to 20-coach trains.
The LHB coaches of Rajdhani trains are also 15 per cent longer than a normal coach of a long distance train, so they cannot accommodate more than 21-coaches. Confirming the development, Sharat Chandrayan, chief PRO, Western Railway said, “We are in the process of augmenting the number of coaches for Rajdhani Express”.
Once the authorities are through with the work on Rajdhani Express, they will then augment the coaches on the August Kranti Rajdhani Express on the Mumbai Central-Delhi Hazrat Nizamuddin route.
Both these trains take around 16 hours to reach Delhi from Mumbai.