Double Decker train to run between Delhi and Lucknow from November- TOI

LUCKNOW: The much awaited double-decker train will run between Lucknow and Delhi from the second week of November. Research Designs and Standards Organization (RDSO) will begin the final safety trial run of the train between Lucknow Junction and Anand Vihar terminal on Friday (October 17) and Saturday (October 18).

RDSO might give the report within 15 days and if not by first week of November, the train is expected to run from the second week of November. “It will be five days a week and ply from Lucknow Junction,” said divisional railway manager (DRM), Lucknow, North Eastern Railway (NER) Anoop Kumar.

The train will run from North Eastern Railway (NER) since route clearance has come for Lucknow Junction-Anand Vihar route. “We will shift Garib rath to NR to make way for double-decker,” said senior divisional commercial manager (DCM), Lucknow, NER, MK Singh. Double-decker will be a day train and might run around 15 to 20 minutes ahead of Gomti express. Since NER wants to run it as a brand, the train might get a special name as well.

Northern Railways (NR) has chalked out the train’s route. “Train will run from Lucknow via Moradabad and the entire route that it will take comes under Northern Railway,” said senior divisional commercial manager, Lucknow, northern railways, Ashwini Srivastava.

The train which is stationed at Gomtinagar station for the last five months will be shifted to Lucknow Junction’s washing line for maintenance before the trial run.

The train has 12 coaches and every coach has the seating capacity of 110. Before it is made to run between Lucknow and Anand Vihar and handed over to RDSO for the trial run, the train will have thermocol sheets pasted on its body and one of its coaches will be loaded with sand bags (to make its weight equivalent to that of a loaded coach).

RDSO will then put cameras inside and outside the train and officers who will be present on-board the train will watch every movement of the train. Since double-decker train is wider and higher than the regular train, thermocol sheets are put to test if its body is getting rubbed against the platform or other structures en route. The train will be made to run either at 100 kmph speed or the speed at which the railways plan to run it. “At the platforms, it will follow the speed restrictions,” said an RDSO officer.

“Railways will have to give us the time for the trial considering the schedule of other trains on the route,” said the officer.

On hold for five months

The train meant to run on the 500-km Lucknow-New Delhi route was stationed at Gomtinagar station for about five months. Railways needed clearance for two bridges on the Lucknow-New Delhi route. RDSO, in 2014, finished trial run of double-decker trains for Hyderabad, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Chennai and Bangalore but at Lucknow — where the train was designed at Research Designs and Standards Organisation — the train was gathering dust. While NER gave the route clearance, the same was awaited from the Northern Railway.

Not for every route

Double-decker needs route-specific clearance. A regular coach is given clearance once after which it can ply on any route. Double-decker, due to its height, oscillates while moving and has to be given clearance for every route before it gets to run. Its lower window is at the level of the platform. “In certain cases, platform can touch the body of the train so trial ensures that the route allows the train a smooth run,” says an RDSO official.

Double the capacity

In a double-decker coach, the entry and toilet areas of the coaches are at the same level as the platform. It is the seating area which has been horizontally divided into two levels, bringing the ground floor to the level of the platform. The coach is higher and slightly narrower than a regular rail coach. The coaches are crash-worthy, which means they can keep passengers safe in case of a collision, derailment or any other train accident.