THE RAJDHANI PASSENGER EXPRESS.
An entire generation has grown-up with the Rajdhani.
The Rajdhani express enjoys an iconic reputation among the trains that transport 25 million passengers each day across the country of India. In 1969, when the first one rolled out of the New Delhi railway station and made its historic run for Howrah in West Bengal, a station built by the British and the oldest in the sub continent, it heralded in a new era of super fast trains and gained a fan following that till date hasn’t diminished a bit.
Kids who once hopped on board with glee tethered to the arms of anxious parents afraid to lose them in the crowd, many now in their early forties, take their own children on long distant journeys without thinking twice about a hike in its fares.
Technically, the express train service that will celebrate its 46th birthday come 3rd March 2015, does not qualify in the category of the ‘fastest in the world and neither does it ever accelerate to its stated maximum speed of 140km per hour. Yet its reputation for punctuality and service, remains unmarred and unbeaten by any, except perhaps the later Shatabdi and the Duronto express that matches it in both areas with some versions even superseding it.
Late, the trains can still get, fortunately not by a huge margin.