Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu flagged off the Gatimaan Express - touted to be India's fastest train - on 5 April. Articulating his plans for the ambitious project, Suresh Prabhu told ANI:
"We have decided that we will try to ensure that all the trains running across the country become must faster than they are today. We will try that the trains used regularly by the common man becomes faster, so that they reach their destination sooner".
Here's all you need to know about India's first semi-high speed train, the Gatimaan Express:
1. The Gatimaan Express is slated to run at the speed of 160 kmph from Nizamuddin railway station to Agra Cantonment railway station.
2. On its inaugural journey, the train covered the 184-km distance in exactly 100 minutes - 18 minutes faster than the Shatabdi Express.
3. The Gatimaan Express is scheduled to start from Nizamuddin station at 8.10AM and reach Agra Cantt at 9.50AM. For the return journey, the train is scheduled to start from Agra at 5.50PM and reach Nizamuddin station at 7.30PM.
The Gatimaan Express is flagged off at Nizamuddin station. Photo: Vikas Kumar & Ranjan Crasta
4. On its inaugural journey, all passengers were welcomed with roses. Hostesses escorted the passengers to their seats while soft music played in the background.
5. The fare for chair car in the fully air conditioned Gatimaan Express has been fixed at Rs 750, while the tickets for the Executive Class have been fixed at Rs 1,500.
Passengers being welcomed with roses and sweets. Photo: Vikas Kumar & Ranjan Crasta6. The train will have two executive AC Chair and eight AC Chair Car coaches. The coaches are adorned with photographs of tourist spots in Agra.
7. Passengers have been promised free WiFi. The coaches have hotspot devices to allow passengers to access a range of multimedia content such as movies, videos, TV serials, film documentaries, video songs, news, sports videos, cartoons and devotional songs.
Inside the Gatimaan Express. Photo: Vikas Kumar & Ranjan Crasta
8. The train also has sliding doors, a power emergency braking system, an automatic fire alarm, a GPS-based passenger information system and bio toilets.
9. What's on the menu you ask? Gatimaan Express will serve both Indian and continental cuisine. The menu includes chicken sausages with Spanish omelettes. Vegetarians can choose from whole-wheat Upma, Kanjeevaram Idli and fresh fruits. Slices of Date Walnut cake complete the meal.
The Gatimaan Express' non-vegetarian meal. Photo: Vikas Kumar & Ranjan Crasta
10. The Gatimaan Express is scheduled to run six days a week except Friday.
Now that's one journey you wouldn't want to miss.