Gatimaan Express flagged off, Suresh Prabhu calls it a 'proud moment'

With band bajaa sans baarat and shehnai playing in the background, India's fastest train, Gatimaan Express for Agra from Nizamuddin station was flagged off by Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu. Running at 160 kms per hour, it is currently the fastest train in India.

An excited Ministry of Railways tweeted: The launch of this heralds a new era of high speed rail travel in India.

Initial plans was to launch the the Gatimaan semi-high speed service on the same route in 90 minutes.

However, the speed obstacles during the trial runs put a brake on the plan and it was relaxed to 100 minutes.

The originating station too was then changed from New Delhi to Nizamuddin. Tracks have been tilted at a few places to negotiate curves at higher speeds.

There is no single global standard in excess of 250 km per hour for high speed rail. Existing lines in excess of 200 km per hour are widely considered to be high-speed, with some extending the definition to include much lower speeds (e.g. 160 km/h) in areas for which these speeds still represent significant improvements.

Gatimaan Express is the first semi-high speed service in railways that runs at a speed of 160 kmph and is expected to cover the 200 km distance in 100 minutes. In other words, it is a semi-bullet train.

The Shatabdi Express, the fastest train in the country until Gatimaan Express, cover the same route of 192-km distance between Delhi and Agra in 118 minutes.

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