Late last month, Mamata Banerjee, Minister for Railways, flagged off the colourful Duronto Express from Kolkata’s Sealdah station. Bound for Delhi, the bi-weekly train is the fastest train between the two cities, doing the 1,454km run in 16 hours and 30 minutes (the Rajdhani does it in 18 hours). While the train presently travels at the same speed as the Rajdhani, the travel time is less because it’s non-stop, with just three technical stoppages on the way (the Sealdah Rajdhani has six commercial stops). The fare is also marginally lower. The look is said to have been designed by the minister herself, who likes to paint in her spare time. The abstract artwork in primary colours denotes speed, with a pair of blue legs in a running stance in the middle. The train also has a new economy AC coach, with three berths on the side instead of the usual two. The train’s maiden run wasn’t without its hiccups, though. It rolled into Delhi 50 minutes behind schedule. Several more Duronto trains are on the cards, with the second one, between Delhi and Chennai, already flagged off.


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