Here's a good news for train passengers. The Indian Railways is working on increasing the speeds of all long-distance passenger trains by 25 km per hour by 2022. Minister of State for Railways Rajen Gohain on Monday said that the Ministry wanted to reduce travel time to ensure passengers reached their destinations within a reasonable time. In India, an average speed of a passenger train is somewhere between 40 kmph and 45 kmph.
"We have asked all the zonal railway general managers to work on increasing the speed of long distance passenger trains by 5 km per hour every year, thus reaching the target of 25 km per hour increase in speed by 2022," the Minister said after inaugurating a Santragachi- Chennai Central weekly Antyodaya Express train service.
In the last couple of years, Indian Railways has taken multiple initiatives to make train journey for passengers safer and faster. This year in February, it was reported that the Indian Railways is planning to construct 10,000 km of new high speed corridors to run trains at the speed of 200-250 kmph. Currently, the fastest train in India is Gatiman Express which runs at a speed of 160kmph. Launched in 2016, the train runs between H Nizamuddin and Agra.
Last year in September, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe laid the foundation stone for the country's first high-speed rail project between Mumbai and Ahmedabad. India is expected to run first bullet train sometime in 2022.
But before 2022, Indian Railways is planning to introduce semi high-speed trains that may eventually replace Rajdhani and Shatabdi. According to reports, Indian Railways is developing two trains - named as: Train 18 and Train 20 - at the Chennai-based Integral Coach Factory. Train-18 will run at a top speed of 160 kmph and is expected to hit the track end of this year.
Train-20 is expected to be rolled out in 2020. The only difference between these new trains is that Train 20 will have an aluminium body while Train 18 will have stainless steel body. Last month in a tweet, Railway Minister said that the Indian Railways is set to roll out "first self-propelled semi-high speed Make In India train set for inter-city travel, which will provide passengers with state-of-the-art amenities, reduce travel time, and enhance their experience".