Heralding a new era in rail travel, India's fastest train the Delhi-Bhopal Shatabdi Express was on Wednesday flagged off by Railway Minister Lalu Prasad.
Union Minister for Science and Technology Kapil Sibal, Minister of State for Railways Naranbhai Rathwa, chairman Railway board and other senior officials of the Railway Ministry were also present at the New Delhi Railway station on the occasion.
The new train will reduce journey time between the 198-km Delhi-Agra stretch from the present two-and-a-half hours to less than two hours, railway officials said.
A superfast WAP-5 locomotive will pull the train comprising all new coaches upgraded at the Kapurthala Coach Factory, they said.
Rail tracks along the Delhi-Agra have been fortified to withstand the high speed of 150 kmph, the officials said.
The Shatabdi category of trains presently travel at a speed of 120 kmph.Concrete walls have been raised on stretches along the tracks till Agra to avoid any intrusion by people and stray cattle.