The 3-hour-25-minute travel time between Chandigarh and Delhi in the Shatabdi express will come down to two hours if the modernisation work of railway infrastructure goes as per minister Suresh Prabhu’s plan.
There is plan to introduce semi-high speed train on the route with a maximum speed of 160 kmph and average speed of 100 kmph.
Railway minister Suresh Prabhu was in the city on Sunday afternoon to inaugurate eight railway projects in the region. “The planning for this project has already been started. We will try to complete this as early as possible. The track will be as good as the one connecting Mumbai with Ahmedabad,” he said.
He said gradually other rail route will be modernised to cut short the journey. “We also plan to modernise Delhi-Chennai route and are in talks with a foreign company for the job. We will begin with Delhi-Nagpur route and then Nagpur-Chennai link will be taken care of. There is proposal to introduce ‘Tejas’— a train with a speed of over 130 kmph.”
On making the Chandigarh railway station world-class, Prabhu said the job will be done on the public-private partnership (PPP) model.
The minister inaugurated the first water vending machine at the station. Now, the passengers will be able to buy a 300 ml glass of chilled water for `1. Five litres of water will cost `20. The ministry has planned as many as 56 water vending machines at the railway stations in the region in the next three months. A total of 15 such machines will be set up at the city railway station alone.
Also, the mechanised laundry already set up at coach maintenance depot in Panchkula a few months ago was also officially inaugurated on Sunday. The laundry will cater to the needs of all the trains originating from Chandigarh railway station. The laundry will have the capacity to wash all the face towels, pillow covers and bed-sheets meant for passengers in sleeper coaches.