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Old 13th September 2016, 19:03   #1
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Default Talgo train does Delhi-Mumbai in 11 hours 42 mins!

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The nine coach train which has been manufactured by a Madrid based company named Talgo has created quite a buzz in the media. Recently, the Talgo 250 covered the distance of 1,384 km from New Delhi to Mumbai Central in a time of 11 hours and 42 minutes. The train hit a top speed of 150 km/h during this journey. During the previous trial run on the same route, the train was delayed due to heavy rains. The Delhi-Mumbai Rajdhani Express which is currently operational runs at an average speed of 85 km/h and takes almost 15 hours 50 minutes to complete the same journey.

It all started on May 29 when the first trial run was conducted on Bareilly-Moradabad rail route in Uttar Pradesh. The next trial runs were on the Mathura-Palwal route and Delhi-Mumbai corridor. The top speed achieved during the first trial run was 115 Km/h, and it increased to 180 km/h during the next trial runs which were conducted. So, when the Talgo gets operational it will break the current top speed record held by Gatiman Express at 160 km/h.

In 2014, Henri Poupart-Lafarge, the head of Alstom's transport (French high-speed train manufacturing company) stated that India is at least 5-10 years away from bullet trains. He also went on to say that India should concentrate on increasing existing average train speeds from 80 km/h to 120 km/h rather than thinking of bullet trains.

So it was a matter of pride and India managed to build the Gatiman express which is operational since April 2016. The next step in the semi-high speed category (160-200 km/h) would be the introduction of the Talgo 250 trains.

Key highlights:

• The Talgo 250 is a dual voltage electric train (AC/DC) equipped with variable gauge axles. This allows the units to be used on high-speed lines and on conventional broad gauge lines. The power output is 2,400 kW (3,218 BHP) @ 25 kV AC and 2,000 kW (2682 BHP) @ 3 kV DC and the claimed top speed is of 250 km/h.
• Talgo uses a pendular system which basically reduces the lateral forces experienced by the passengers while travelling on the curves. The car body tilts inwards towards the interior of the curve in direct relation to the travelling velocity. Thus the passengers won't feel the usual centrifugal force like they would on a normal train. Also, this enables the train to increase the travel speed by 25% while traveling on a curve.
Talgo train does Delhi-Mumbai in 11 hours 42 mins!-talgo.jpg
• One more feature that aids in stability during cornering is the independent guided wheel. This means that the wheels on a particular axle are uncoupled and this prevents the yaw movement while making a particular curve.
• The carriages are made of aluminium which makes them lighter. It also has articulated bogies i.e. one bogey is shared by two coaches.
• The Talgo trains are also claimed to consume 30 per cent less energy.
• According to reports, the seating arrangement will be similar to what we find on planes which means that the seats will be close to each other with luggage rack on the top.

Subrath Nath, Director, India and Asia Pacific at Talgo mentioned that since the trial runs have been completed, the trains would be returned to Spain. These trains were brought into India on rent and they would be brought in later when the final green signal is received from the Railway Board. Research Designs and Standards Organisation (RDSO) will prepare a report on the performance of the Talgo 250 in all the trials and the final decision would be taken based on these reports.

Source: PTI and IRCTC-CO.in

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Old 13th September 2016, 19:21   #2
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Default Re: Talgo train does Delhi-Mumbai in 11 hours 42 mins!

It is fundamentally wrong to compare TALGO's timings with Rajdhani.
  • Rajdhani's schedule has slack time built into it to accommodate some delays due to traffic/maintenance work. That's not the case with Talgo
  • It should be noted that Talgo was accorded unprecedented priority throughout the section. Rajdhani doesn't enjoy the same level of priority.
  • Also, Rajdhani is restricted to 110/100 kmph between Ratlam - Godhra. If Talgo ran at 130/150 kmph here, that would make considerable difference
  • The Talgo covered Borivali - Mumbai Central in 22 mins. Rajdhani is allotted 44 mins for same. That is counted as 22 minute saving over Rajdhani. This timing was possible only because Talgo entered Mumbai at 2 am. At sensible time of the day, it will take minimum 40 minutes
  • The kind of priority given to Talgo is possible for a one off trial run. It is simply not possible for a scheduled daily service.
  • The talgo rake is short in length. So it'll be able to clear speed restrictions faster. Rajdhani, on the other hand is a full length train. Talgo is also significantly lighter than Rajdhani
  • For a fair comparison,Talgo's timings should be compared to a Rajdhani rake operated in the same slot, running with same priority. NOT a timetabled trip of Rajdhani. I am sure existing LHB rake too will be able to do it in 13-13.5 hours if above conditions are met.
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Old 13th September 2016, 19:52   #3
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Default Re: Talgo train does Delhi-Mumbai in 11 hours 42 mins!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Omkar View Post
Attachment 1553800

The nine coach train which has been manufactured by a Madrid based company named Talgo has created quite a buzz in the media. Recently, the Talgo 250 covered the distance of 1,384 km from New Delhi to Mumbai Central in a time of 11 hours and 42 minutes. The train hit a top speed of 150 km/h during this journey. During the previous trial run on the same route, the train was delayed due to heavy rains. The Delhi-Mumbai Rajdhani Express which is currently operational runs at an average speed of 85 km/h and takes almost 15 hours 50 minutes to complete the same journey.

So it was a matter of pride and India managed to build the Gatiman express which is operational since April 2016. The next step in the semi-high speed category (160-200 km/h) would be the introduction of the Talgo 250 trains.
Good post. Please share more details. It would be a piece of progress to see these trains introduced in India not only on the Rajdhani routes but also the shorter inter-city routes. I first travelled in a Rajdhani in 1970 and the passenger experience has fundamentally remained unchanged till date.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AkMar View Post
It is fundamentally wrong to compare TALGO's timings with Rajdhani.
Fair point. Nevertheless if the new train came in for the 150 to 500kms inter-city connections what a difference it would make. There are a lot of competent folks in the Indian Railways. If only we could unshackle them from the yoke of the bureaucrats.
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Old 13th September 2016, 20:18   #4
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Default Re: Talgo train does Delhi-Mumbai in 11 hours 42 mins!

I thought the main bottlenecks to faster running of trains in India were
Quality of tracks
Signalling
Rail traffic (tied to signalling)

Also high speed tracks abroad are fenced off (just like access controlled highways). Try doing that here!

Regards
Sutripta
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Old 13th September 2016, 20:36   #5
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Default Re: Talgo train does Delhi-Mumbai in 11 hours 42 mins!

I had recently done some travelling in Spanish as well as German and French railways. Main difference I could find is that in urban places like Barcelona, the rail network is really congested. So much that in many of the train stations, as one train exits the platform, we can see another waiting to occupy the same platform. Onboard the train, we can see a train passing by in the opposite direction every minute or so. Compared to this, the German and French network is less dense.

The point here is, the Spanish system can be used as a good example for our railways too. Comparing it with the trains here might not be apt, but its a good example of how trains can be fast even though the system might be congested. That is mainly because the trains clear blocks faster due to better acceleration and braking. Whether or not this train is given priority, it can definitely beat the Rajdhani type trains by clearing sections quickly and making up any delays enroute. There neednt be a caution signal preceeding a stop signal, where the train has to begin slowing down and later come to a full stop.

Even if this train is given priority, the train that has been halted to allow this to pass wouldnt have to wait for a long time before it can follow the train. This will lead to an overall reduction in travel time. Even in urban sections like Mumbai, the Talgo can either travel at par with the EMUs or be at its own pace, with some adjustments to speed such that the Talgo gets to pass EMUs when they stop in stations. Such kind of a dynamism will not exist with the conventional loco-coach setups. I for one was amazed by how trains, irrespective of the class accelerate in Germany. By the end of a platform they would be at 60+kmph and by the time the station disappears from sight we would have reached 80 or 100+. More than the top speed, its the average speed that matters to ensure quicker travel times. India doesnt need a bullet train at 250kmph. We need a train that can maintain a healthy average speed of above 100kmph.

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Old 13th September 2016, 20:39   #6
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Default Re: Talgo train does Delhi-Mumbai in 11 hours 42 mins!

The image of the train in post 1 is the one running in Europe and not India.
It ran with an Indian Railways loco on the trials.

Also in Post 1, there is mention of the power specifications of the loco which seems to be of the one in the image. I am not very sure that will come to India if at all the deal is sealed.
The whole rake including the loco is a set, which is why the coaches looked so out of place when doing trials here with IR locos.
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Old 13th September 2016, 21:17   #7
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Default Re: Talgo train does Delhi-Mumbai in 11 hours 42 mins!

Quote:
Originally Posted by AkMar View Post
It is fundamentally wrong to compare TALGO's timings with Rajdhani.
[*]Also, Rajdhani is restricted to 110/100 kmph between Ratlam - Godhra. If Talgo ran at 130/150 kmph here, that would make considerable difference
I've clocked Mumbai Rajdhani's top speed at 145kmph using my phone's GPS via the speedometer app. This was late at night, on the Ratlam-Vadodara section.
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Old 13th September 2016, 21:31   #8
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Default Re: Talgo train does Delhi-Mumbai in 11 hours 42 mins!

When I was in France, I used to travel between Nantes and Paris in TGV - bullet trains. It's around 550KM and it used to cover in 2h to 2.5h. I always used to imagine what if I could travel this fast between Hyderabad and Bangalore.

I guess if Talgo can maintain an average speed of 100-120 KMPH, it will take 6-5 hrs for Hyderabad-Bangalore journey. It's a great improvement from current 10hr journey
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Old 13th September 2016, 22:14   #9
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Default Re: Talgo train does Delhi-Mumbai in 11 hours 42 mins!

Quote:
Originally Posted by AkMar View Post
It is fundamentally wrong to compare TALGO's timings with Rajdhani.
I agree to what you are saying. There is no comparison here. The Talgo was on a test run, it doesn't mean that it would do less than 12 hours every time if and ever it makes it over here. This number is like the company claimed fuel efficiency of a car (The real world results would differ vastly).

The numbers mentioned are just for reference sake so as to give a ballpark of the time that each train would take.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tharian View Post
The image of the train in post 1 is the one running in Europe and not India.
It ran with an Indian Railways loco on the trials.

Also in Post 1, there is mention of the power specifications of the loco which seems to be of the one in the image. I am not very sure that will come to India if at all the deal is sealed.
The whole rake including the loco is a set, which is why the coaches looked so out of place when doing trials here with IR locos.
The reason why I mentioned the Euro specs is because of the source of information where I read this. (Link here).

Quote:
1. India is currently testing trails of the Talgo 250 category of train that has the maximum speed of 250 km per hour. However, Indian Railways will be testing Talgo train at a speed not more than 180 km per hour.

2. The Talgo 250 is a dual voltage electric train (AC/DC) equipped with variable gauge axles.
The dual voltage voltage electric train that they are talking about is the Talgo 250 or the Renfe series 130 (hence the specifications).

The Talgo which ran in India was powered by the WDP 4D locomotive which makes around 4000 horses (My bad on using the Euro website picture). Since this was a trial run, the tests were conducted with empty coaches filled with sandbags and sensors for the data. So, basically these tests were to see the effects on the coaches like the oscillation tests and how effective was the pendular system works.
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Old 14th September 2016, 13:51   #10
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Default Re: Talgo train does Delhi-Mumbai in 11 hours 42 mins!

They ain't going to get its loco. Looks like a small train with a regular Indian WAP-7 or 5 or a WDG series loco.
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Old 14th September 2016, 14:18   #11
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Default Re: Talgo train does Delhi-Mumbai in 11 hours 42 mins!

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Originally Posted by ambivalent_98 View Post
They ain't going to get its loco. Looks like a small train with a regular Indian WAP-7 or 5 or a WDG series loco.
That remains to be seen. The existing rake here is only for trial purposes and hence hauled by WAP5 and WDP4.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shreyans_Jain View Post
I've clocked Mumbai Rajdhani's top speed at 145kmph using my phone's GPS via the speedometer app. This was late at night, on the Ratlam-Vadodara section.
So this is mainly due to error in GPS. Rajdhani is cleared for 130 KMPH, and the drivers are extra cautious not to exceed the speed. Over speeding entails penalty on drivers.

--

Coming back to the original topic:
1. as AKMAR says, its an apple to oranges comparison between Talgo and Raj. All the reasons mentioned by him are valid and proves the incorrectness of the comparison.
2. Talgo still has a long way to go to become actually operational in IR. Remember, any government procurement gets done through tenders, which needs more than two bidders, and is a time taking process. For a project this huge, the time can be in years. so lets keep our fingers crossed.

--

That being said, there is need for HSR in IR. Even if its not significant now, we cant wait till the need becomes significant to start working on the solution. Setting up the HSR would take years and we need solution to our problem in near future. Starting the work now will bear fruits in future.
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Old 14th September 2016, 14:53   #12
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Default Re: Talgo train does Delhi-Mumbai in 11 hours 42 mins!

Unless the Indian government can price the trains competitively, we'll still see flying as the preferred mode of travel.

Before investing in this type of train(nothing against it,) our track and signalling infrastructure should get an overhaul.

If you can increase the average speed of all trains by 20-30 kmph, we can see significant reduction in travel times with existing rolling stock.

Take the example of Bangalore-Chennai:

A 3.5 hour shatabdhi is possible with the current rolling stock if a speed of 100 kmph is maintained throughout. If you can keep the train clean, people might consider that instead of flying.
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Old 14th September 2016, 19:28   #13
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Default Re: Talgo train does Delhi-Mumbai in 11 hours 42 mins!

Quote:
Originally Posted by AkMar View Post
It is fundamentally wrong to compare TALGO's timings with Rajdhani.
While in agreement to your point, I would raise further points in favour of TALGO's system.

The trains sent by TALGO have a top speed of 250 km/h and they are run at 180 because of locomotive & track restrictions. On the other hand, Rajdhani LHB (new) rake is rated at 160 km/h top speed, hence it runs much closer to its design limit.
The main thing, though, is the wheel arrangement on the TALGO which has a wheel 'truck' between coaches rather than one on each end of the coach. Reduced number of wheels reduces vibration, wear on tracks and shaking of one coach relative to the next. In short - it's a superior ride.

Adopting TALGO - or any similar technology, I am not promoting that company specifically - would lead to a situation where your train is ready for any future upgrade that you might do.

Example - between Ratlam and Kota, the Rajdhani runs through the night on a relatively lower traffic route. If this route were upgraded from 130 to 180 or even 200, significant time savings would occur. Similarly, Mumbai to Pune between Lonavala and just outside Pune could be upgraded - it's a flat and relatively straight section. This would let the train defeat expressway buses or cars.

Final point - the current Mumbai-Delhi schedule is approx 4.40 pm to 8.30 am. If this were to change to 6.40 pm or 7.40 pm departure and same arrival, it would serve the purpose. Businessmen doing trips to either city could take the train back in the evening, something they can't do without missing the afternoon meeting slot presently.
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Old 14th September 2016, 20:53   #14
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Default Re: Talgo train does Delhi-Mumbai in 11 hours 42 mins!

This project may NOT see the light of day IMHO. There are far too many vested interests that are there before this project takes light.

Bureaucracy is too much especially in Railways and every train is made to stop in more number of stations. There are very very few trains that have reduced stops, but a far number of trains, where stoppages increase year on year.

There should be affixed number of stops in planning phase and the same number of stops should come up even in execution phase. It takes sometime to achieve those high speeds and frequent stops would neutralize the very purpose.

My thoughts on why it is difficult to implement in india
  • If a cow comes in the path of a Talgo Train and the shepherds stage a dharna, the authorities shouldn't reduce the train speed to 50 kmph, akin to Mum-pune expressway (built for 120-130 kmph but actual enforcement is 80 kmph)
  • Maintenance of the trains is as important as running it. They should maintain them on par with Metro trains and NOT like current rolling stock. Just look at the Volvo buses nowadays (An analogy)
  • Courtesy of service should be on-par with Airlines - They should contract this one to some private agencies and enforce the service level.
  • They should plan for in-journey maintenance to deal with people who would use the loo to take bath, shave etc and not use it just for nature's call.
  • Majorly - the average indian family travels with lots of luggage in hand. They should either force to put luggage in the luggage car a.k.a airlines, or make other arrangements.

Last edited by scopriobharath : 14th September 2016 at 20:54.
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Old 14th September 2016, 21:13   #15
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Default Re: Talgo train does Delhi-Mumbai in 11 hours 42 mins!

One thing they must guard against with all these high speed rail networks is Wildlife Crossings and the terrible tragedies that happen especially in Eastern India when herds of elephants cross the railway tracks.

For our human desire for speed, we end up harming so many harmless animals and the environment.

Thats the only thing that I dread, with all these developments...
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