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India’s Fastest Train Gatiman Express Linking Delhi-Agra to Start Soon

After three months of delay, the much-awaited 160km/hour Gatiman Express linking Delhi and Agra will begin its run soon once the safety clearance is given, Railway Board Chairman A.K. Mittal said, without giving the exact time it takes.

The train would cover the 200 km distance in around 90 minutes and the coaches were manufactured in Kapurthala workshop for the country’s fastest Express. Two successful trials were undertaken in July and September last year.

Taj Mahal turning into brown due to pollution.

Taj Mahal turning into brown due to pollution.

Once the clearnace is given, the daily train will start from New Delhi at 8 a.m. and reach Agra Cantonment railway station at 9.30 a.m. It will depart Agra at 5.30 p.m. and reach New Delhi at 7.00 p.m., with plus 15 minutes time during the initial days. The train should cater mainly visitors to the global tourist spot Taj Mahal in Agra.

The coaches will have automatic sliding doors, with a smoke and fire detection system reducing the overall weight of the train. A Wi-Fi system will also be installed later, according to the Railway officials.

The train will bring down the current time taken to cover the distance between Agra and Delhi from 3 hours to half of it, said officials. Once the train starts, the tourists to Agra can plan a day-time trip spanning about 8 hours. Currently restrained to tourist buses or cabs, visitors to Agra often return to Delhi in mid-night.


  1. Plz. Mail all information for about train
    Sukesh Jain

  2. Somesh Srivastava

    The Green Signal for Gatiman Express

    The idea and proposal of a high speed Gatiman Express (GE) seems well intentioned. But although proposed last year and having gone through several trial runs, this plan has not taken off as yet. The main hitch is safety and heavy congestion on the railway tracks at the proposed running schedule of GE. The train is proposed to leave New Delhi at 8 a.m. and reach Agra Cantt railway station at 9:45 am. It will depart from Agra at 5:30 pm. and reach New Delhi at 7:15 pm. In trial runs itself, the train was not always on time due to one reason or the other.

    The distance between Delhi and Agra is less than two hundred kilometers. Quality railway connectivity between the two will not just be a boon for the people of Agra but give a great fillip to our tourism sector. Ideally the journey between these two destinations should take less than three hours. The assurance of a safe, timely and comfortable journey can provide relief to countless passengers. Delhi and Agra are connected by several fast trains but most passengers still yearn for a comfortable train option to cater to their needs. There are dozens of long distance trains that run through Agra and stop at Agra Cantt railway station. Some trains stop even at Raja Ki Mandi station. But these trains get late for several hours in winter season. Moreover getting reservation is difficult in sleeper class and almost impossible in AC class of these long distance trains, be it anytime of the year, due to huge demand.

    There are only three daily trains between Delhi and Agra having air conditioned chair car facility. These are Shatabdi Express, Taj Express and Intercity express. Shatabdi Express runs between New Delhi and Habibganj, Bhopal. It is a good super fast train. It leaves New Delhi at 6:00 a.m and reaches Agra at 8:06 a.m. It reaches the last station Habibganj at 14:25 p.m. The train stops at Mathura, Agra Cantt, Dhaulpur, Morena, Gwalior, Jhansi, Lalitpur and Bhopal, before reaching final destination Habibganj. The other train is Taj Express which was for a long time, the preferred choice of the tourists. Taj Express now runs between Hazarat Nizammudin and Jhansi. These days it is too crowded and mainly caters to the migrant population and labour of Bundelkhand area between Agra and Jhansi. The third train is Intercity Express that leaves Agra at 6:00 a.m. and reaches New Delhi at 10:20 a.m. It suits the daily commuters and mainly serves them. But this train gets cancelled in the months of December and January due to foggy weather conditions. Winter is the tourist season and tourists do not find sufficient options for a comfortable and safe journey between Delhi and Agra. The Intercity Express often runs late and takes more than four hours to cover the distance between Delhi and Agra.

    A perennial complaint of the members of Agra Hotels and Tourist Association is that the Delhi lobby and some other factors have created such conditions that tourists make only a day-time visit to Agra and avoid a night stay. A negative perception about basic infrastructure and security conditions deters tourists from prolonging their stay at Agra. The foreign tourist now prefers to see only the Taj Mahal and Red Fort of Agra and go back to Delhi the same day. Even tourists who also want to visit Jaipur or Varanasi prefer to go back to Delhi and then undertake further journey. As such local tourism cannot make the most of the existing opportunities.

    In fact the tourists do not find easy entry and exit from Agra. Normally the check out time in hotels is 1200 hours at noon. Changing hotels compel, especially the foreign tourists to pay rent for one more day. Average foreign tourist calculates the cost of hotel stay and the hassles of carrying luggage to other city. Therefore, foreign tourists prefer to stay in Delhi hotels and take one day trip to Agra by morning trains like Shatabdi Express or Taj Express and go back to Delhi the same day by one of these trains. Not just the tourists but the local people also whine about the lack of enough good quality trains which can ply them to and fro Delhi the same day.

    The existing scenario can improve a lot if we slightly tweak the timings of the trains of this route and interchange the schedules of Gatiman Express and Shatabdi Express. The proposed Gatiman Express is only fifteen minutes faster than the existing Shatabdi Express. My humble suggestion to the Railway Ministry is that it should run the Gatiman express upto Habibganj at the timings and stoppages of Bhopal Shatabdi Express with slight changes in timings. This way the train will not hamper the running of other trains. The safety issue will also be addressed easily because the Bhopal Shatabdi superfast train already runs on that particular time. The Gatiman Express in future could be extended upto the Itarsi Junction to facilitate faster connection between Delhi and Central India.

    Shatabdi Express, on the other hand should run thrice a day between Agra and Hazrat Nizammudin. The Railway doesn’t need any extra coaches or engines as all the facilities and infrastructure is already available. The evening journey of Shatabdi Express can be extended upto New Delhi. The train should depart from Agra Cantt at 600 hours, 1200 hours and 1800 hours. The same train should depart at 900 hours and 1500 hours from Hazarat Nizammudin and at 2130 hours from New Delhi Station for journey upto Agra Cantt. This train should also stop at Raja Ki Mandi station in Agra to facilitate the local population of Agra.

    The departure time of Intercity Express in the morning at Agra Cantt can be delayed by five minutes and the departure time of Goa Express at the Nizammudin railway station can be delayed by five minutes. The travel time between Delhi and Agra could be increased from two hours to two and a half hours or more to facilitate the running of other trains. People are more interested in comfortable journey in reasonable time than delayed trains and travelling without reservation. Such an arrangement will not only help people who can pay for comfortable journey but also reduce the traffic for other commuters who can conveniently and affordably travel in other trains of this route. There will be tickets and reservations available for everyone.

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