Kolkata: The Indian Railways is working on increasing the speeds of all long distance passenger trains by 25 km per hour by 2022 which will reduce travel time considerably, Minister of State for Railways Rajen Gohain said here today.
The railways ministry has also asked the national carrier to double the average speed of freight trains by 2022, Gohain told newspersons here after inaugurating a Santragachi- Chennai Central weekly Antyodaya Express train service. “We have asked all the zonal railway general managers to work on increasing the speed of long distance passenger trains by five kms per hour every year, thus reaching the target of 25 km per hour increase in speed by 2022,” Gohain said.
He said the ministry wanted to reduce travel time considerably to ensure passengers reached their destinations within a reasonable time. In order to decongest major terminal stations like Howrah, work is on to develop infrastructure at satellite stations nearby so that these can be used for originating and terminating journey of long distance express trains, he said.
South Eastern Railway general manager S N Agarwal said that congestion at major terminal stations are one of the causes for delay in train movement. Santragachi and Shalimar stations near Howrah are being developed for the purpose to provide proper facilities to passengers of long distance trains.
Asked about the lack of adequate number of fast trains between the Northeast and Kolkata, Gohain said the ministry is considering a new airconditioned express train between Guwahati and the metropolis. “Discussions are on for introducing an overnight superfast express train between Guwahati and Kolkata,” he added.