Mamata flags off first Duronto Express

Mamata flags off first Duronto Express

Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee today flagged off the Sealdah-New Delhi Duronto express, the country’s first point-to-point non-stop train, from the Sealdah station in Kolkata.

The Sealdah-New Delhi Duronto train will cover the distance one-and-a-half hours earlier than the Rajdhani Express. A railway official explained: “The speed at which Duronto trains will travel is not more than that of the Rajdhani trains. The time required for the journey is lesser because it will not have any commercial stoppages.”

The Sealdah-Delhi Duronto will have three operational stoppages at Dhanbad, Kanpur and Mughalsarai for technical reasons, compared to six operational as well as commercial stoppages for the Sealdah-Delhi Rajdhani Express.
This apart, the Sealdah-New Delhi Duronto has a new AC economy coach. The sleeper coach will have three-tiered side berth (compared to a normal two-tier side berths in Rajdhani trains), which will help in accommodating 81 passengers as against 72 who can travel in the conventional AC-3 coaches. A ministry official said: “The new economy class is being introduced in the Duronto trains so more people can avail of faster and air-conditioned travel at economic rates.”
Tickets for this class has been priced at Rs 1,335, Rs 200 lower than the Rajdhani AC-3 fare of Rs 1,535. The fare is inclusive of meals.
The railway minister also assured that 13 more Duronto trains would be launched soon.
While regular coaches, with shells made of corten steel manufactured at the Integral Coach Factory in Chennai, are being used in the Sealdah-New Delhi Duronto, the Chennai-Nizamuddin Duronto train will have stainless steel coaches with bogies designed at the Rail Coach Factory in Kapurthala.
These special bogies have air suspension systems to provide enhanced customer comfort. The lightweight stainless steel shells also enable the train to run at a faster speed. Kite halts duronto’s run The country’s first non-stop Duronto Express train was today stranded for about 30 minutes at Dankuni, about 20 km from Kolkata, soon after it was flagged off by Railway minister Mamata Banerjee at the Sealdah station.
According to a railway official, the pantograph of the train got entangled with a kite’s thread on the overhead wiring at Dankuni, causing the delay.A pantograph is a device that collects electricity from overhead lines for electric trains. The train was halted at Dankuni between 5.46 pm and 6.17 pm.
Banerjee, who had announced the introduction of the superfast train to select cities in her railway budget speech this year, flagged it off at 5 pm. The bi-weekly train will leave Sealdah every Thursday and Sunday and from New Delhi on Friday and Monday.

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