Indian Railways minister, Piyush Goyal has earlier stated that they will be increasing the speed of 600 trains which will decrease the travel time for long distance trains. This has not come without cost but by slowing down 250 other trains. Trains from all zones have been slowed down, effective from November 1, but no intimation has been given to passengers. Some trains highest speed is at 55 mph.
Railway officials say that the speeding up of many trains has happened at the cost of slowing down other trains, which is basically an optimising exercise. Besides that, Passengers will have to shell out Rs. 30 more for Sleeper, Rs. 45 for Second and Third AC and Rs. 75 for First AC class in 48 new trains as Railways impose new fares. No additional passenger amenities have been provided in trains converted to the superfast level.
Speeding Up 600 Trains Lowers 250 Other Trains Speed:
The railways is expected to mop up an additional Rs. 70 crore from these levies. The transporter possibly imposes these charges to avoid a backlash on passenger fare increases. With the addition of the 48 trains, the total number of trains designated as superfast has risen to 1,072. The Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG), in its last report in July, had made critical observations about the superfast levy.
According to TOI, Most trains have been speeded up by decreasing the slack time by only 5-10 minutes. But this has been publicised. However, the slowing down has not been circulated on social media or through press statements. Within the Southern Railway limits, sources said the running time of 20 trains has been increased 13 of them by five minutes and the rest by 1025 minutes.
According to the data available with the railways, 890 superfast trains had run late during July, August and September this year. As many as 129 superfast trains were delayed in July, 145 in August and 183 in September for one hour to three hours. However, 31 superfast trains were behind schedule by more than three hours in July and 37 in August. As many as 196 superfast trains were late by 30 minutes to 60 minutes in July, 186 in August, 240 in September.
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