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Howrah - New Delhi Rajdhani History  
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May 20 2012 (12:06)

Entry# 1152     
Howrah - New Delhi Rajdhani History

May 20 2012 (12:01)
News Entry# 73721  Rajdhani Express turns 40!  
Posted by: rdb*^   Added by: rdb*^  May 20 2012 (12:06)
The country's first super-fast train, and also the most prestigious passenger carrier, the Rajdhani Express, completed 40 years of service on March 1. On that day in 1969, the first Rajdhani Express left New Delhi station for Howrah station to cover a distance of 1,445 km in 17 hours 20 minutes.In all, there were nine coaches in that train, including one pantry car and one power generator car, all built domestically. There were only two classes, AC First Class and AC Chair Cars, and the fares were Rs 280 and Rs 90 respectively. There were three stops on the route, at Gomoh, Mughal Sarai and Kanpur, for operational reasons.No passenger tickets were issued to and from those stations. On the return journey, the train left Howrah station for New Delhi on March 3. It was a bi-weekly service.Forty years ago, air travel was not as popular as it is today. Travelling...
by Rajdhani Express was a sort of status symbol. Many rich people, even Ministers, politicians and senior government officials, preferred to travel by Rajdhani Express. The scene is so different now.There are now two Rajdhani Express services every day between New Delhi and Howrah/Sealdah stations (one each from Howrah and Sealdah stations) and almost all state capitals are now connected to the country's national capital by Rajdhani Express services.New German LHB type coaches have replaced the earlier home-made coaches.The number of coaches in the Howrah-New Delhi Rajdhani Express is now 18, including two pantry and two power cars.Earlier, the service used to be only via Grand Chord; now there are services also via the main line, through Patna. Additional stops (for example, Dhanbad, Gaya and Allahabad, on the Grand Chord) have been allowed and passenger tickets are also issued to and from these stations.There are no AC chair cars any more; those have been replaced by AC two-tier and AC three-tier coaches. The fares too have gone up many times, now ranging from a low of Rs 1,520 (AC III) to a maximum of Rs 3,365 (AC First).A special function will be held at Howrah station on March 3 to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Howrah-New Delhi Rajdhani Express service.It will be organised by Eastern Railway because the country's first Rajdhani Express service was, and still is, ER's own.The passengers travelling on that day by Rajdhani Express to New Delhi from Howrah station will be felicitated and treated to special menu by Indian Railway Catering & Tourism Corporation.
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