In pictures: an insider

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Photo: Vikas Kumar/Catch News

In pictures: an insider

i

Photo: Vikas Kumar/Catch News

In pictures: an insider

i

Photo: Vikas Kumar/Catch News

In pictures: an insider

i

Photo: Vikas Kumar/Catch News

In pictures: an insider

i

Photo: Vikas Kumar/Catch News

In pictures: an insider

i

Photo: Vikas Kumar/Catch News

In pictures: an insider

i

Photo: Vikas Kumar/Catch News

In pictures: an insider

i

Photo: Vikas Kumar/Catch News

#GATIMAANEXPRESS

In pictures: an insider's view of Gatimaan Express - India's fastest train

Vikas Kumar @CatchNews

Amid great fanfare, the Gatimaan Express - India's first semi-high-speed train was launched on Tuesday. Touted as India's fastest train, the express train promises a range of world class facilities to its passengers.

With around 230 passengers on board, the Gatimaan Express covered the 188-km distance on its maiden journey from Delhi to Agra in 100 minutes at a maximum speed of 160 km per hour after it was flagged off by Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu from Hazrat Nizamuddin station.

Also read - This is the Gatimaan you won't hear about: India's fastest train is more trainwreck than super-train

Catch was among the first few passengers to board the 'semi-bullet train' and the train did not disappoint with its state-of-the-art amenities like bio-toilets, a GPS-passenger information service, automatic sliding doors in coaches and an entertainment system.

The train will run twice daily, except on Fridays, between Delhi and Agra-leaving in the morning from the Indian capital and returning the same evening. A ticket for a regular coach will cost Rs 750 and for double that price, one can travel in one of the two "executive" coaches. Both fares are inclusive of food.

Also read - Gatiman Express: All you need to know about India's 'fastest' train

But is the price truly justified when the train actually just takes seven minutes less to cover that distance than the Bhopal Shatabdi?

Perhaps the Indian Railways thought that the introduction of train-hostesses makes it worth the cost. But when it's just a 100-minute journey, do we really require such services? Most likely, they're meant to be symbolic for luxury travel where instead of just having one of the many train boys serve you snacks, it's smiling male and female hostesses.

More in Catch - Rail Budget: Five unaddressed problems that sour the railway experience Railways needs a big boost, but Suresh Prabhu's budget is not it To get the railways going, Mr Prabhu, take an axe to 'new projects shelf'

Vikas Kumar

Vikas Kumar @CatchNews