On Friday evening, Northern Railway’s first double-decker AC train was flagged off by railway minister Mukul Roy and chief minister Sheila Dikshit under pouring rain.
The Delhi (Sarai Rohilla) to Jaipur train will have 12 coaches in the beginning with 120 seats in each compartment, up from 78 in Shatabdi coaches. But at 4.36m high, it is only 12cm taller than an ordinary train. While 50 of its 120 seats are on the upper deck, 48 are on the lower deck, and 22 are at normal height. The journey time will be four-and-a-half hours for a total of 303km, and the fare has been kept at Rs 327.
Permanand Singh, chief designer of the coaches manufactured at the Kapurthala Coach Factory with help from RDSO, said all the coaches are made of stainless steel to lessen weight. The train is so designed that the coaches will not pile up in an accident — a first in India. Capable of travelling at 160kmph, the train has a special air suspension for a smooth ride. Each of these coaches costs Rs 3 crore, against Rs 2.5 crore for a Rajdhani coach and Rs 1.5 crore for a normal AC coach.
The 12986 Delhi Sarai Rohilla-Jaipur double decker AC train will leave Delhi daily at 5.35pm and reach Jaipur at 10.05pm. On the return journey, the 12985 Jaipur-Delhi Sarai Rohilla train will start at 6am and reach Delhi at 10.30am.