India’s first high speed train Nizamuddin-Agra Gatiman Express has been flagged off on Tuesday April 5 by Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu from Delhi’s Hazarat Nizamuddin Station. After months of testing, the much awaited train finally left for its first official journey with a music band playing shehnai in the backdrop. Former Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee’s proposal to introduce train hostesses has finally seen the light of the day with the flagging off of Gatiman Express. India’s fastest train, Gatiman Express, which shuttles between Delhi and Agra, has introduced 20 train hostesses – two each for 10 coaches in the train. Half of these will actually be men or train hosts. So, each coach will have two attendants – one male and one female – who will serve food, provide newspapers and assist in other ways to make the journey a flight like experience.
Here is all you need to know about Gatiman Express:
1. Train hostesses to welcome passengers: Like planes, passengers of Gatiman Express, India’s first semi-high speed train, will be ushered to their seats by train hostesses and offered roses.
2. Passengers to get multimedia access in coaches: In a first of its kind experience, the passengers will also be given free access to multimedia content such as movies, news and cartoons during their journey to Agra.
3. 200 kms in 100 minutes: Aiming at attracting tourits visiting the City of Taj, the Gatiman Express will run at a maximum speed of 160 km per hour covering the 200 km long distance in 100 minutes. “We are trying to provide the best service to passengers in the first semi-high speed train. While quality food with multiple choices will be offered to passengers, they will also be given free access to multimedia entertainment on their seats,” said a senior Railway Ministry official.
4. Wi-Fi hotspots installed in the train: Hotspot devices have been installed at coaches to access multimedia services by passengers free of cost directly on their smartphones, tablets or laptops. The service will give users access to a wide variety of multimedia content such as movies, videos, TV serials, film documentaries.
5. Gatiman Express to run six days a week: The 12050 Nizamuddin-Agra-Nizamuddin Gatiman Express will run six days a week except on Fridays in both the directions. According to the schedule, the train will start its journey from Nizamuddin at 8.10 am to reach Agra at 9.50 am. Gatiman Express to hit track on April 5 In the return, the Gatiman Express will depart from Agra at 5.50 pm to reach Nizamuddin at 7.30 pm.
6. Package for tourists in Agra: Eyeing the tourism potential of the train, IRCTC has also finalised a package involving bus service, sightseeing and lunch at Agra for tourists.
7. High-speed engine: Equipped with a 5,400 HP electric locomotive, the train will have two Executive AC Chair Cars and eight AC Chair Car coaches.
8. State of the art facilities in the train: The train will have a high-power emergency braking system, automatic fire alarm, GPS-based passenger information system and sliding doors in the coaches.
9. Fare: The fare for chair car in fully air conditioned Gatiman Express has been fixed at Rs 690, while for Executive Class it will be Rs 1,365.
10. Railways to roll out more such trains: Railways plans to roll out such trains on nine more routes including Kanpur-Delhi, Chandigarh-Delhi, Hyderabad-Chennai, Nagpur-Bilaspur, Goa-Mumbai and Nagpur-Secunderabad.