The Indian Railways on Sunday started the first of a three-part series of trial runs of its maiden semi-high speed trainimported from Spain.
The trial runs of the nine coach train manufactured by Madrid-based Talgo, if successful, will catapult India into the select club of nations with operational semi-high speed services capable of running at 160-200 kilometer per hour.
As part of the tests kicked off today, the railways ran at 8:50 am a nine coach Talgo train between Bareilly and Moradabad in Uttar Pradesh, hauled by a 4,500 Horse Power.
“The speed of the trial done today was 115 Kmph. It will be increased to 200 Kmph on the Mathura-Palwal section and more than 200 Kmph during trials on the Delhi-Mumbai route,” a senior rail ministry official told Business Standard.
The trial over the 90 Kilometer stretch between Bareilly and Moradabad will last two weeks. On the first day of the trial run, the train carried two Executive Class coaches, four Chair Car coaches, a cafeteria, a power car and a tail-end coach with equipment.
The test runs are planned to be conducted initially with empty coaches and later with sand bags placed on the passenger seats. The second leg of the testing session, being conducted by joint teams of railway engineers and RDSO staff, will witness a trial run on the Mathura-Palwal section of North-Central railway for 40 days at a speed of up to 200 Kmph.
Finally, the trial run will be conducted on the Delhi-Mumbai route for two weeks at a stretch. The trials, if successfull, will lead to the introduction of the “super luxury” Talgo train service between Delhi and Mumbai in a few months, reducing travel time to less than 12 hours from 18 hours at present.
The nine coach Talgo train was earlier shipped from Barcelona and arrived at the Jawaharlal Nehru Port (JNPT) in Mumbai on April 21. From there, the train was brought to Izzatnagar railway workshop near Bareilly earlier this month. A three member team of technical experts from the Railway Board had reached the workshop on Wednesday and were briefed by Talgo engineers on all aspects of coaches.
Talgo trains are light-weight and faster and are known for their unique design features that includes articulated bogies – one bogey is shared by two coaches – and independent rotation of wheels that allows smooth negotiation of curves. Also, the low centre of gravity of the coaches imparts additional stability and safety to coaches.
Indian Railways had last month started its fastest service Gatimaan Express, capable of running at 160 Kmph on the Delhi-Agra stretch. Train services running at a speed of 160-200 Kmph are classified as semi-high speed.