Railway Board reduces speed of Vande Bharat, Gatiman Express trains to 130 kmph

Railway Board has reduced the speed of semi-high speed trains Gatimaan Express and Vande Bharat from 160 kmph to 130 kmph till the automatic train protection system gets operational.
Railway Board reduces speed of Vande Bharat, Gatiman Express trains to 130 kmph

New Delhi | The Railway Board has reduced the speed of semi-high speed trains Gatimaan Express and Vande Bharat from 160 kmph to 130 kmph till the automatic train protection system gets operational.

At present, only Gatiman Express and two Vande Bharat trains run at 160 kmph between Hazarat Nizamuddin (New Delhi) and Agra rail route due to suitable track conditions.

On June 24, the Railway Board’s executive director (signal) issued a letter to the general manager of NCR zone and said that the issue of speed of these trains was examined.

“...it is decided that as advised earlier, Zonal Railways to expedite IR-ATP Kavach works in the section and till the time the Automatic Train Protection (ATP) system is operational, trains to run at maximum speed of 130 kmph in the section,” the letter said.

Directing the NCR zone to ensure the instruction, the letter said that the direction of reduction in speed has also been approved by the Railway Board’s Member, Infra; Member, Traction and Rolling Stock; and Member, Operation and Business Development.

“The Board took the decision on its own in the wake of the recent Kanchanjunga Express accident in West Bengal in which a goods train hit the passenger train from the rear killing 10 people including the freight train’s driver,” a source in the Board told PTI, adding that the speed restriction has been in operation since June 25.

The letter specifically mentions three trains - train number 20171/20172 (New Delhi-Rani Kamalapati Vande Bharat Express), 22470/22469 (Hazrat Nizamuddin-Khajuraho Vande Bharat Express) and train number 12049/12050 (New Delhi-Virangana Lakshmibai Jhansi Gatiman Express).

Gatiman is India’s first semi-high speed train launched in April 2016 which runs between Nizamuddin and Jhansi but it takes 160 kmph speed only between Tughlakabad railway station and Agra as tracks were laid there to suit the train's speed.

“On June 22, 2024, five days after the Kanchanjunga Express accident on June 17, the crew of Gatiman was instructed by the control department to reduce the speed from 160 to 140 and then two days later, the Railway Board’s direction came,” a railway source from Delhi Rail Division said.

“Vande Bharat runs at 130 kmph across all rail networks except this New-Delhi Agra route as it gets a suitable track to go up to 160,” another railway source said.

He added, “The distance between Nizamuddin and Agra is 188 km and out of that about 125 km stretch is such where trains can run at a maximum speed of 160 kmph. At remaining stretches, its speed varies but remains below 130. Vande Bharat and Gatiman had almost a similar speed graph until the Railway Board’s new direction came to decrease the speed to 130.”

According to the railway sources, the Agra division is already working on 'Kavach' installation and it has developed a complete 'Kavach' network on the 80-km stretch between Mathura (excluding the station) and Palwal.

This involves the placement of RFID tags on railway tracks in station areas and other places, installation of stationary 'Kavach' units at several places such as stations, and installation of towers and antennas along the tracks.

“This installation is only for the purpose of trial and it is not being used in train operations as of now. It can be made operational as and when the concerned authorities decide,” a loco pilot, working on that route, said.

The Kavach system, developed by the Research Designs and Standards Organisation (RDSO), can apply brakes automatically in case of an emergency when a train driver fails to act in time.

Latest News

No stories found.

Related Stories

No stories found.