Marking the beginning of a new era in Indian rail travel, railways minister Mamata Banerjee gave the green signal for the first ''Duronto'' non-stop Sealdah-New Delhi express train from Sealdah station (Kolkata) yesterday.
This is the first of the twelve ''Duronto'' class trains announced in this year's rail budget aiming to provide better speed, comfort and security for passengers. ''Duronto'' trains run non-stop between their destinations and the train fare will include the cost of meals.
The train will take approximately 16 hours and 20 minutes, one and half hours less than the prestigious Rajdhani Express to cover the 1454km distance between Sealdah and New Delhi.
''Duronto'' will be of two types: one with fully air-conditioned reserved coaches and the other a combination of air-conditioned and non air-conditioned reserved coaches.
The specially designed coaches are built of stainless steel which are lighter, anti-corrosive and more durable and come with added safety features. The interiors are of sleeker design with sliding transparent doors, LED night lamps, bottle holders and provision for mobile charging points.
The Sealdah-New Delhi ''Duronto'' will run bi-weekly and regular service of the 2259/2260 train will commence on 21 September from New Delhi and 24 September from Sealdah.