Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Friday flagged off the Tejas Express, the country’s first private train run by its subsidiary IRCTC, on the Lucknow-New Delhi route.
The commercial run of the train starts on Saturday.
The Tejas Express cuts the time travelled between the two cities to six hours and 15 minutes from the six hours and 40 minutes taken by the Swarn Shatabdi, currently the fastest train on the route.
“It is the first corporate train of the country. I congratulate the first batch of passengers travelling in it and hope such initiatives are taken to connect other cities as well,” Adityanath said.
According to the schedule, the train will leave Lucknow at 6.10 am and reach New Delhi Railway station at 12.25 pm. On its return journey, the train will leave Delhi at 3.35 pm and reach Lucknow at 10.05 pm.
The Tejas Express will have only two halts Kanpur and Ghaziabad.
It will run on all days of the week, except Tuesday.
If this experiment of handing over certain operations to IRCTC is successful, the railways will make way for private operators to run trains in India, officials said.
The Railway Board has already asked zonal railways to consider the feasibility of running private trains on 50 key routes, including Delhi-Mumbai and Delhi-Howrah.
The Tejas Express is a more premium version of the Shatabdi Express category of air-conditioned chair cars.
The new IRCTC Tejas Express train has several new features. In a first, passengers will be paid for any delay on an hourly basis. Also, Rs 25 lakh free insurance will be provided for each and every passenger.