With the Indian Railways deciding to use two engines in Rajdhani Express, the premium trains will now take a shorter duration to reach their destinations.

Usually, these trains run with one engine. However, the model of push and pull was successfully tried on a commercial run of the Delhi-Mumbai Rajdhani Express on 13 February, which resulted in its journey time being reduced by 106 minutes.

“It is totally a make in India project utilising indigenous rolling stock without any additional cost and will provide all the deliverables such as enhanced speed and lower running time,” said a senior official.

The twin-engine operation — one engine at the front and another at the back — on express trains has been certified by the Research Design and Standards Organisation of the Indian Railways.

The twin engines will be able to accelerate faster, which will save time and also ensure more passenger comfort as there will be less vibration when brakes are applied from both ends.

Trials carried out between Bandra Terminus railway station and Nizamuddin station saved 83 minutes in onward journey and 77 minutes on its return journey.

“The arrangement will help facilitate train operations with higher average speed without any additional capital cost. An order has been issued to switch all Rajdhani trains to the push-and-pull mode,” he said, adding that the zones had been advised to revise journey time accordingly.

The official said increasing the average Rajdhani Express speed would create additional sectional capacity for improvement of average speed of other trains.

Currently, two power cars are attached to the train to run the Rajdhani trains’ air-conditioning system. Once the system is in place, the electricity will be sourced from the overhead cable, it is learnt. With the power cars done away with, the trains may get two more 3-tier AC coaches, creating space for more passengers. The Rajdhani Express currently has 22 coaches that can carry 1,200 passengers.