Unable to maintain the punctuality of Bandra Terminus-Hazrat Nizamuddin special Rajdhani introduced as a faster and cheaper premium option to travellers, the Indian Railways is mulling increase in its run-time by an hour to make it stick to schedule, ministry sources said.
The proposal mooted by Western Railway and signed off by Northern Railway, North Central Railway and West Central Railway, the sources said, is with the Railway Board for consideration.
The train - with a run-time of about 14 hours - was touted by the railways as the fastest train between Delhi and Mumbai, cutting down the travel time by two hours. The special Rajdhani is now likely to take an hour more to reach its destination.
The sources pointed out the decision was taken after it was noticed that the train rarely remained punctual since its introduction last year.
Out of the 120 trips it made, the Bandra-Nizamuddin Rajdhani remained on time only thrice. On its return journey to Bandra, it stick to its schedule on 10 times.
According to the proposed revised timings, the Bandra-Nizamuddin Rajdhani will depart at 5:10 pm, instead of 4:15 pm, and reach Hazrat Nizamuddin station in Delhi at 8 am, instead of 6:10 am. On its return journey, it will depart at 5 pm, instead of 4:05 pm, and reach Bandra at 7:45 am, instead of 6 am, the sources said.
When the train was introduced, the Indian Railways had said that the early-morning arrival will give passengers more time to spend in the cities and help them avoid the suburban peak-hour traffic.
The train chugs off from Delhi on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, and from Bandra on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
The special Rajdhani was initially introduced in October for a period of three months with an aim to cut the travel time between the two cities. The railways hoped that the train would provided passengers a cheaper premium option costing Rs 600-800 less than the other two Rajdhanis running on the route.
The train has been extended till September this year and will run according to the revised schedule once approved by the board, the sources said.
The route is presently served by August Kranti Rajdhani and Mumbai Central-New Delhi Rajdhani in the premium category.
The August Kranti Rajdhani covers the distance in about 17 hours and the Mumbai Central-Delhi Rajdhani in under 16 hours.
"There is no proposal right now," Northern Railway General Manager Vishwesh Chaube said.
However, he added that "whatever changes" is to be made will be effective from the next timetable expected in a month.
"In next timetable, similar paced trains have been proposed to run in a bunch. This will improve sectional capacity and punctuality," he added.
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