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Indian Railways Celebrates as Mumbai-New Delhi Rajdhani Express Turns 50

With a top speed of 120 kmph, the Mumbai Rajdhani was the fastest train in India until 1988. (Image: Twitter/Western Railway)
With a top speed of 120 kmph, the Mumbai Rajdhani was the fastest train in India until 1988. (Image: Twitter/Western Railway)

Indian Railways expect Mumbai Rajdhani to clock a top speed of 160 kmph with up-gradation of tracks in the next four years, allowing the train to cover its route in 12 hours

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Updated: May 17, 2022, 15:55 IST

The Mumbai-New Delhi Rajdhani Express is set to mark the golden jubilee anniversary of its operation today on May 17. “Rajdhani Express – Pride of the Pack. Rajdhani Express trains are high-priority long-distance passenger carriers on Indian Railways network. With spacious coaches & fewer stops, they offer a comfortable & luxurious travel experience to passengers," tweeted Ministry of Railways.

In a tweet, Western Railway recalled how earlier the stewards played a great role. “In its early days, Mumbai-New Delhi Rajdhani Exp was managed by stewards on the train throughout its journey. The stewards would play a vital role in taking care of passengers, checking tickets, making important announcements through the PA system, etc," WR wrote.

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The inaugural journey of the train from Mumbai Central, formerly known as Bombay Central Railway station, to the national capital, began 50 years ago on May 17, 1972.

The premier train connecting India’s financial capital to political capital began operation three years after the first fully-air-conditioned Rajdhani was launched on New Delhi-Howrah (Kolkata) route, making it only the second of such trains.

Thanks Indian Railways, PIB Maharashtra tweeted old and recent pic of Rajdhani Express. It wrote: “#Mumbai #Delhi Rajdhani Turns 50! Thanks to Indian Railways, travel time between Delhi - Mumbai became shorter, 50 years ago.  Mumbai-New Delhi Rajdhani Express was introduced on 17 May 1972 between the then Bombay Central (MMCT) and New Delhi."

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While trains like Frontier Mail and Pashchim Express were already running on the route, none of them had New Delhi as the terminating station.

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(Image: Twitter/Western Railway)

Initially, Mumbai-New Delhi Rajdhani took over 19 hours and 5 minutes to complete the journey but upgrades in its locomotives in the last five decades have reduced the travel time down by three hours.

(Image: Twitter/Western Railway)

The train was initially introduced with WDM-2 diesel locomotives followed by the use of WAP locos in stretches of the route that were electrified, reported the Times Of India. However, the problem was finally solved in 1993 with the introduction of AC-DC locomotives in1993. At the turn of the millennium, the electrification of the entire route was completed.

(Image: Twitter/Western Railway)

Towards the end of 2003, the Delhi-Mumbai Rajdhani Express adopted new Linke Hofmann Busch (LHB) rakes designed for a higher speed of 140 kmph with anti-telescopic and anti-climbing discs and anti-skid disc brakes.

(Image: Twitter/Western Railway)

With a top speed of 120 kmph, the Mumbai Rajdhani was the fastest train in India until 1988. While the tag of faster Indian train was taken by Shatabdi Express trains and later by the Vande Bharat Express, railways expect Mumbai Rajdhani to clock a top speed of 160 kmph with up-gradation of tracks in the next four years, allowing the train to cover its route in 12 hours.

Not just the speed, Mumbai Rajdhani has also witnessed several operation change in its route. From being originally run with only technical halts where no passengers could board en route, the train now has functional stops at Surat, Vadodra Junction, Ratlam and Kota Junction.

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first published: May 17, 2022, 08:47 IST