Even as the Railways prepares to put on trial the Spanish-built Talgo train between Mathura-Palwal starting June 1, the debate among babudom is whether these trains are suited for the average Indian commuter.Pictures available exclusively with dna of the interiors of a few coaches of the Talgo train parked at Izatnagar workshop in Uttar Pradesh show that they are for light travellers with luggage storage space much less than traditional Indian rakes. Travelling light, officials agreed, is not the characteristic of a majority of Indian commuters.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Talgo coaches have seats set close to each other, like in planes, and just a normal luggage rack along the top side of the coach, akin to what we see in Mumbai’s local trains. The space between the seats which face each other- with a wall-mounted table in between- also hardly leave any space for anything bigger than a briefcase.”These are trains that are good for distances of 250-500 km, anything above will trouble the passenger. Moreover travelling light might be predominant in Europe, where these trains belong to. India is a different proposition. We have people in reserved and air-conditioned compartments carrying even farm produce- rice, wheat, coconuts etc- when they return from native villages. These foreign trainsets, with their spartan interiors, might be a challenge,” agreed an official.When asked whether such foreign trains- like Talgo and the train sets India plans to procure- are more for the casual traveler, Hemant Kumar, member (mechanical), Railway Board, just said that whenever orders for such trains are placed, it would be in a way that best suits the Railways and the Indian passenger. Kumar is the Railways’ highest authority when it comes to manufacturing trains and rolling stock.As reported earlier by dna, the nine-coach Talgo train is in North Eastern Railway’s Izatnagar Workshop in UP where the train, after its journey from Mumbai Port, is being assembled. It will be tested at speeds of 180kmph between Mathura and Palwal and also on the full Mumbai-Delhi route.
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