August 2016

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As the TALGO trials in India goes on… We call each flip of the coin a new trial. This time once again our good old, aggressive diesel beast BGKT WDP-4 #20089 is back. Last time it went with our very own white beauty (electric locomotive) GZB WAP-5 #30039.

These trials are being conducted to see if high speed Talgo train complete the Delhi to Mumbai journey in less than 12 hours. These are few final phases of its trial runs. August 12 is the date when the Spanish company’s claims will be put through the last test! At a maximum speed of 150 kmph, the train will aim to complete the Delhi to Mumbai Rajdhani route journey in 11 hours and 38 minutes. Presently, the Rajdhani Express takes almost 16 hours on that stretch. Talgo’s nine-coach train, being pulled by an Indian Railways engine, will leave from Delhi at 14:45 hours and if all goes well, will reach Mumbai at 02:23 hours on August 13.

Talgo’s maiden trial on the Delhi to Mumbai Rajdhani route may have taken longer than expected due heavy rainfall and track washout, but the Spanish company still has three more runs to prove its claim of higher speeds and less travel time. Indian Railways has drawn up the schedule for the remaining three trial runs of the final phase. The tests will happen on August 5, 9 and 12. On August 5, the train will depart from Delhi at14:45 hours and aim to reach Mumbai at 03:21 hours on August 6. The journey will be conducted with a maximum permissible speed of 130 kmph and a cant deficiency of 125mm. Cant deficiency deals with the train’s speed on curves. Talgo has said that with these parameters, the train should be able to complete the trip in 12 hours and 36 minutes. For the August 9 trial, a maximum speed of 140 kmph will be tried, with the objective of taking 12 hours and 4 minutes. Cant deficiency for all three runs will be 125mm.

According to Indian Railways, Vijay Kumar, Executive Director, Infrastructure at Railway Board:
When asked why four trial runs (including August 1 run) instead of the earlier plan of three are now being conducted, “We thought that a leap from 130 kmph speed to 150 kmph is a lot. Hence the decision was taken to gradually increase the speed to first 140 kmph and then 150 kmph.” Incidentally, all four test runs will take place from Delhi to Mumbai and not Mumbai to Delhi. «This is because we (Indian Railways) want to check all technical parameters on the same track.»

The Suresh Prabhu-led Railway Ministry declared the August 1 trial a success, based on the speed attained and travel time cut that the Talgo train achieved till Surat. On August 1, Talgo train left Delhi at 19:55 hours and reached Mumbai Central at 11:36 AM on August 2, taking 15 hours and 41 minutes, having run late due to rains en route and point failure at Mathura Junction. Rajdhani Express takes 15 hours and 50 minutes to traverse the distance between New Delhi and Mumbai Central. If Talgo’s trial had gone as per schedule and without any glitches, the train was expected to have taken 12 hours 47 minutes for the journey, that is approximately 3 hours less than Rajdhani.