Mission Raftaar: Speed Upgrades to 130 km/h Coming To Many Routes in 2020 and 2021. Section-Wise Targets Inside

Several key routes on the Indian Railway are about to get a long-awaited upgrade to top speeds. Indian Railways is about to rev up works to increase maximum permissible speeds (MPS) on these routes.

Mission Raftaar, as the project is called, was conceived in 2016 to increase the maximum and average speeds of both passenger and freight trains.

On most routes, speeds for mail/express trains have a ceiling of 110 km/h or lower. Premium trains like Rajdhanis, Shatabdis and Durontos are allowed to operate at 120 km/h on significant parts of the Golden Quadrilateral and Diagonals. The rakes for such trains are fit to operate at 130 kph or above.

Over the past few years, coach manufacturing units like Integral Coach Factory (ICF), Rail Coach Factory (RCF) and Modern Coach Factory (MCF) have switched to production of LHB coaches. These new and safer designs are fit for operations at speeds of 130 kph and above.

Many important trains previously using the legacy ICF design coaches have now LHB rolling stock and 130 km/h capable locomotives. Once the line is declared fit for the upgraded speeds, it should be possible in theory to increase MPS of such trains from 110 km/h to 130 km/h.

Some sections are already awaiting safety approval to officially increase MPS, according to officials. Over the next few months, many sections are expected to complete required works and receive approvals from the Commissioner of Railway Safety (CRS).

Section-Wise Status and Target Dates of Speed Upgrades By Route

Mumbai – New Delhi

ZoneDivisionSectionPresent speedProposed speedTarget date / Revised date
WRMumbaiVirar-Surat110130Aug 2020
WRVadodaraSurat-Godhra110130Aug 2020
WRRatlamGodhra-Limkheda110120Aug 2020
WRRatlamLimkheda-Meghnagar100110Aug 2020
WRRatlamRatlam-Nagda110130Mar 2020
WCRKotaNagda-Mathura110130Mar 2020
NCRAgraPalwal-Dhaulpur110130Aug 2021
NRDelhiNizamuddin-New Delhi120130Apr 2020

Mumbai – Howrah

ZoneDivisionSectionPresent speedProposed speedTarget date / Revised date
CRMumbaiCSMT-Kasara105130Mar 2023 (Dec 2022 )
CRBhusawalIgatpuri-Bhusawal110130Mar 2023 ( – )
CRBhusawalBhusawal-Badnera110130Mar 2023 ( – )
CRNagpurBadnera-Wardha110130Dec 2024 ( – )
CRNagpurWardha-Nagpur110130Dec 2024 ( – )
SECRNagpurNagpur-Durg110130Mar 2021 ( – )
SERChakradharpurJharsuguda-Tatanagar110130– ( – )
SERKharagpurTatanagar-Kharagpur110130– (Dec 2020 )
SERKharagpurKharagpur-Andal110130Mar 2020 (Jun 2020 )

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Delhi – Chennai

ZoneDivisionSectionPresent speedProposed speedTarget date / Revised date
SRChennaiChennai-Gudur105/110130Mar 2021 (Mar 2021 )
SCRVijayawadaKondapalli – Vijaywada120130Feb 2021 (Mar 2021 )
SCRSecunderabadKazipet – Kondapalli120130Nov 2020 ( – )
SCRSecunderabadBallarshah-Kazipet120130Jul 2020 ( – )
CRNagpurBallarshah-Sewagram110130Dec 2024 ( – )
CRNagpurSewagram-Nagpur110130Dec 2024 ( – )
CRNagpurNagpur-Narkhed110130Dec 2024 ( – )
CRNagpurNarkhed-Itarsi110130Mar 2020 (Jun 2020 )
WCRBhopalItarsi-Bina110130Mar 2021 (May 2020 )
NCRJhansiBina-Lalitpur110130Aug 2020 (Aug 2020 )
NCRJhansiLalitpur-Dhaulpur110130Aug 2020 (Aug 2020 )
NCRAgraDhaulpur-Palwal110130Aug 2021 (Jun 2020 )
NRDelhiTughlakabad-Nizamuddin120130Apr 2020 ( – )
NRDelhiNizamuddin-New Delhi120130Apr 2020 ( – )

Mumbai – Chennai

ZoneDivisionSectionPresent speedProposed speedTarget date / Revised date
CRMumbaiCSMT-Kalyan105130Mar 2023 (Dec 2022 )
CRMumbaiKalyan-Karjat105130Dec 2021 (Dec 2022 )
CRPuneLonavala-Pune110130Aug 2020 (Dec 2021 )
CRPunePune-Daund110130Aug 2020 (Feb 2021 )
CRSolapurDaund-Solapur110130Mar 2021 (Dec 2021 )
CRSolapurSolapur-Wadi110130Mar 2021 (Dec 2021 )
SRChennaiChennai-Gudur105/110130Mar 2021 (Mar 2021 )

Chennai – Howrah

ZoneDivisionSectionPresent speedProposed speedTarget date / Revised date
SRChennaiChennai-Gudur105/110130Mar 2021 (Mar 2021 )
ECoRWaltairPalasa-Duvvada110130Mar 2021
ECoRKhurda RoadKhurda Rd-Nayagarh Town80/85100Mar 2020
ECoRKhurda RoadKhurda Rd-Palasa110130Mar 2021
ECoRKhurda RoadKhurda Rd-Bhadrak110130Mar 2021
SERKharagpurBhadrak-Kharagpur110130Mar 2022
SERKharagpurKharagpur-Andal110130Mar 2020 (Jun 2020 )

Mumbai – Delhi via Bhusawal

ZoneDivisionSectionPresent speedProposed speedTarget date / Revised date
CRMumbaiCSMT-Kasara105130Mar 2023 (Dec 2022 )
CRBhusawalIgatpuri-Bhusawal110130Mar 2023 ( – )
WCRBhopalKhandawa-Itarsi110130Mar 2023 (Jul 2020 )
WCRBhopalItarsi-Bina110130Mar 2021 (May 2020 )
NCRJhansiBina-Lalitpur110130Aug 2020 (Aug 2020 )
NCRJhansiLalitpur-Dhaulpur110130Aug 2020 (Aug 2020 )
NCRAgraDhaulpur-Palwal110130Aug 2021 (Jun 2020 )
NRDelhiTughlakabad-Nizamuddin120130Apr 2020 ( – )
NRDelhiNizamuddin-New Delhi120130Apr 2020 ( – )

Full List of Sections To Be Upgraded

However, there are some caveats to remember:

  • Trains with ICF rolling stock are likely to continue operating at earlier speeds.
  • Many trunk route sections are operating at well beyond designed capacity, according to Indian Railways. In such cases, it may not be possible for all trains to operate at 130 km/h.
  • Crew availability may also be a factor if present requirements for train operations above 120 km/h are not relaxed.
  • The speeds mentioned in these tables are for mail/express category trains that otherwise operate at 110 km/h or below. Work on upgrading the Mumbai-Delhi and Delhi-Howrah routes to 160 km/h is also underway and is a separate project.
  • Trains like Gatimaan and Bhopal Shatabdi already operate at higher speeds and are not within the purview of this plan.

It remains to be seen if zones are able to push ahead with the speed increases on time. The benefits of reduced travel times will be good news for long distance passengers.

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