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Saturday, 11 May 2013

My First Experience with a Duronto Train in life


Dear Friends, as you’ll know that the Duronto Express Trains have been very popular among the people of India since they have been introduced. You can say that they can be hated or loved but they can’t be ignored. These trains introduced by the Indian Railways are Superfast Trains which run between their Source & Destination Stations Non – Stop serving End-to-End passengers. Hence, these trains only consist of Reserved Coaches be it AC or Non – AC or even both. I got the opportunity of traveling by the 12357 Kolkata (KOAA) – Amritsar (ASR) Superfast Express which was announced as a Duronto Train in the 2009 Indian Railway Budget but was later modified to a Normal Superfast just before its inauguration. Since 15th April, 2013 it has been running by the name of Durgiana Express. I had traveled by this train along with my parents to Punjab from Calcutta (now Kolkata) way back in December, 2012.
Photo of Kolkata (KOAA) - Amritsar(ASR) Superfast Express taken by me (Image Source: Self)

I felt that this Bi – Weekly Superfast Train is a great train in terms of its MPS (Maximum Permissible Speed) and it travels very fast en route. I have taken some videos and photos during my journey by this train and I felt that it is a “Superfast Train” in true sense of the term. The only things it lacked were proper security arrangements, especially the 2nd AC Coach in which I had traveled and the absence of a Pantry Car. I have stated a detailed Trip Report regarding this train on India Rail Info Site along with a report card. This train has also been inspected by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India in the past but I feel that the Indian Railways should pay more attention on this lovely & popular Superfast Train which has only become popular due to its No-Nonsense Schedule and becoming the fastest on the CalcuttaGaya – Sultanpur – SaharanpurAmritsar Route.

I can just say that a person should travel along with his or her family by this train to Punjab. An LHB Rake with Pantry Car included is a must have for this train along with it becoming a Tri – Weekly or 4 Days a week train. I have also felt that this train performs best on the Grand Chord Route which spans its stretch between Sitarampur Junction and Mughalsarai Junction via Dhanbad – Gaya – Sasaram. I remember that we had purchased Food for our Dinner from the rail staff which they had picked up from Asansol Junction. By the time we had opened the food for Dinner at around 8:30 PM, the dal’s taste had changed.
Photo of a WAG-9 Loco taken by me from  KOAA - ASR SF Exp at Dum Dum  Jn

On the next day, we had our breakfast at around 8:30 to 8:40 AM which was picked up from Moradabad, where our train was late by an hour and later we had our lunch which was picked up from Saharanpur. The Lunch was very tasty and it seemed that the Staff at Saharanpur Junction’s Base Kitchen is quite good at making food for its passengers.

This is my favorite train on the CalcuttaAmritsar Route and I would recommend to all speed loving Indian Rail Fans that they should travel by it to any place on this route for at least one time in their lives. It has been a great feeling for me to have traveled by a train whose inauguration I had witnessed on TV way back in March, 2010. All of us can just hope for the best for this train in the years to come.