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Mumbai - New Delhi Rajdhani History  
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May 20 2012 (12:06)

Entry# 1151     
Mumbai - New Delhi Rajdhani History

May 20 2012 (12:03)
News Entry# 73722  Mumbai-New Delhi Rajdhani Express turns 40  
Posted by: rdb*^   Added by: rdb*^  May 20 2012 (12:06)
MUMBAI: Mumbai-New Delhi Rajdhani Express celebrated a quiet birthday on May 17, forty years after it made its inaugural journey from then Bombay Central to the national capital in 1972. The first Rajdhani Express was introduced three years earlier in 1969 between Howrah and New Delhi and was the first fully air-conditioned train. Chief public relations officer of WR Sharat Chandrayan said, "May 17 marks a red-letter day in the history of Indian Railways as it was on this day that this premier train was introduced to connect the country's commercial capital with its political capital." The train's popularity can be gauged from the fact that its reservation chart is prepared only 15 minutes before departure. The train has undergone a sea change over the years to maintain its numero uno position. A railway official said, "When the train was first introduced, it was hauled by a single WDM-2 diesel locomotive...
and WAP alternating current locos for electric traction. For some years, a double-headed engine was also used to maintain speed." Since the traction was electrified continuously on this route, diesel engines were used between Mumbai and Vadodra. This necessitated the change of locos. Dual traction AC-DC W-CAM 2P locos were introduced in 1993, which made the hauling of train on electrical traction possible up to Mumbai Central. In the early days, the train took 19 hours and 5 minutes to cover the distance as against the 15 hours and 50 minutes it takes today; the return journey (New Delhi to Mumbai Central) takes 16 hours and five minutes. Chandrayan said, "The speed improved due to electrification and change in traction technology, besides the doubling of lines on this route." WR is planning to further reduce the running time after the conversion of traction from DC to AC between Churchgate and Virar. Till 1988, when the Bhopal Shatabdi Express with 140 kmph made its debut, Rajdhani Express was the fastest train with 115-120 kmph.
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