Spanish high-speed Talgo trains to test run above permitted speed near Mathura

Spanish high-speed Talgo trains to test run above permitted speed near Mathura :Railways have allowed the trial run of Talgo trains at 180 km per hour as against the maximum permitted speed of 160 km per hour.

The Indian Railways may be going overboard with its plan to introduce high-speed trains but the existing laws do not permit the operation of passenger trains at high speed. Call it the shortsightedness of the babus, but Indian railways have to flout its own rules to allow trial run of Spanish Talgo trains at 180 km per hour and subsequently at 200 km per hour. These trains will undergo trial on Palwal – Mathura section from Saturday for which railways have issued special safety clearance.

TRIAL RUN AT 180 KM/H

A senior railway ministry official said the Commissioner of Railway Safety (CRS) has sanctioned the maximum speed of passenger trains in India at 160 km per hour. No train operation is permitted beyond this limit. However, for the first time in India Talgo trains will hit the top speed of 180 km per hour over the next week.

“Considering it a special case, railways have allowed the trial run of Talgo trains at 180 km per hour as against the maximum permitted speed of 160 km per hour. Top speed will be attained in five phases. A contingency plan has been put in place,” said a railway board official.

JOINT SAFETY CERTIFICATE

Railways have issued a ‘joint safety certificate’ for trial of these trains. Chiefs of various departments have collectively given their clearance for this special case, said the official. “HODs of railway safety, operations, carriage and wagons, electrical, signaling, rolling stock and commercial have given their approval for the trial run,” the official added.

FAILED TO FIND BIDDERS

Sources said the Indian Railways are also keen on procuring high speed trains from foreign companies. One of the primary reasons is that these trains are cheaper as compared to those manufactured in India. Also, India has so far failed to find bidders for manufacturing high-speed coaches in the country. In a recent global expression of interest, no company turned up to bid for manufacturing trains in India calling it a loss-making venture. This has left India with no option but to procure trains from foreign firms.

COST OF COACH

A senior rail ministry official said the average cost of manufacturing LHB coaches comes around Rs 2.75 crore each while the Talgo trains cost only Rs 1.7 crore per coach. This will help railways save at least one crore rupees per coach besides saving upto 30 per cent of electricity as compared to the trains being used in India. Officials said the average speed of these light weight aerodynamic coaches can be 50 per cent higher than the Rajdhani and Shatabdi trains and hence the travel time will come down significantly.

FREE TEST RUN

Talgo trains are capable of hitting the top speed of 200 km per hour. Since these trains are light weight with exceptional rolling dynamics, they can maintain high speed even on sharp curves. The Spanish train-maker has offered to test run its lighter and faster trains free of cost on the existing Indian Railways network.

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