Mangaluru: Next time you plan on visiting Agra to see one of the Seven Wonders of the World-the magnificent Taj Mahal, don’t take a bus or a taxi from Delhi, instead book your seat on Gatiman Express, which will be in service starting March 2016. Travelling from Delhi to Agra is just about to get faster and much more comfortable. One of the announcements to be made during the Railway Budget to be held on February 25, would be the launch of the country’s first semi high-speed train – Gatiman Express – which will run between the two cities.
The train is slated to be operational from March, this year, and according to Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu, the services offered on board the train will match those of airlines’. So, while the Minister is expected to announce the salient features of the train during his Budget speech, here is what you can expect while travelling on the semi high-speed Gatiman Express.
Train hostesses: The Gatiman Express will have train hostesses who will welcome travelers with a rose, as soft music plays in the background. Definitely, a fresh change from the usual bored employees who serve on trains. There will be lots of food- You can expect a whole assortment of food on board the Gatiman express, as the Railways plans to match its catering to the standards of airlines. On the menu will be whole wheat upma, mini dosa, aloo kulcha, Kanjeevaram idli, cut fruits, chicken rolls, Swiss roll and roasted dry fruits. The Railways will also take pampering to a whole new level by serving chicken sausages with Spanish egg white omelette and date walnut
12 coach train: The Gatiman Express will feature 12 coaches, fitted with a high-power emergency braking system, automatic fire alarm, GPS-based passenger information system and sliding doors. The coaches will also be fitted with 8 inch LCD screens and infotainment will be provided in the form of a live TV. Each coach has been built at a cost of Rs 2.5 crores.
Rates: You can expect to shell out Rs 690 for the fully air conditioned chair car and Rs 1,365 if you wish to travel in the Executive class. The fares are 25 percent higher than that of the Shatabdi.
More high speed trains in the anvil: The Railways will be rolling out more such trains on nine routes around the country – Kanpur-Delhi, Chandigarh-Delhi, Hyderabad-Chennai, Nagpur-Bilaspur, Goa-Mumbai and Nagpur-Secunderabad. Vibrantly coloured coaches: Making for a colourful change from the usual dull coaches, will be the new semi high speed ones. The Railways is planning to bring out trains in shades of grey, navy blue and yellow. The colour scheme has been inspired by the cheetah, and the coaches will be painted grey, with navy blue and yellow border.