Thrissur: Come Saturday (September 2), the Thiruvananthapuram Rajdhani Express, which connects Kerala's capital to South Delhi's Hazrat-Nizamuddin, will lose its special status.
The tri-weekly train (train no: 12431/12432) has been the longest ‘non-stop train’ in India covering a distance of 528 km between Vadodara and Kota in 6 hours 45 minutes without any halt. Two days ago, the Railways decided to allot a stop, on an experimental basis, at Ratlam junction in Madhya Pradesh.
When the Rajdhani Express, which left Thiruvananthapuram on Thursday, reaches Ratlam on September 2 at 3.47 am, the non-stop journey will only be for 258 km.
The distance between Vadodara and Kota (528 km) is almost equivalent to the entire Thiruvananthapuram-Kasaragod railway stretch (587 km). The Vande Bharat train between Thiruvananthapuram and Kasaragod, which halts at seven stations, covers the distance in 7 hours and 12 minutes.
A senior official from the Thiruvananthapuram division said that following the Covid breakout, Railways has rationalised the timetable and stops of many trains. "This was done keeping in mind the demand from passengers and people’s representatives, peak hours rush and the revenue generated from each station and train service," said the official.
Reportedly, passengers and people’s representatives from the Malwa region have been demanding a stop for the Thiruvananthapuram Thiruvananthapuram Rajdhani Express for some time.
A new record
With this, the Mumbai-New Delhi-Mumbai Rajdhani Express will become the longest non-stop train in India. Between New Delhi and Kota Junction, the Mumbai Rajdhani will cover a distance of 465 km non-stop in 5 hours and 10 minutes.
The Railways will make the temporary stop permanent if more passengers start using the service, the official said. The stop at Ratlam will also be beneficial to passengers from Kerala, Karnataka, Goa, Maharashtra and Gujarat and those travelling between Ratlam and Delhi, the official said.