Howrah: As a pleasant gift to the countrymen in the festive season, the Union Railway Minster Dinesh Trivedi flagged off India’s first double-decker train and other 22 new trains from the Howrah station here on Saturday.

Speaking on the occasion, Trivedi acknowledged the hard work and determination of Former Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee and missed her absence during the inauguration ceremony.

“Inaugurating trains in such a large number is like a dream come true. Nevertheless,it is the hard work of Didi”, said Trivedi.

The frequency of Howrah-Mumbai Duronto Express was increased from two days to four days a week.

Bankura-Shalimar Rajya Rani Express (Triweekly), the Howrah-Darbhanga Express (Weekly) and Asansol- Gorakhpur (weekly) and other local trains were launched. The Railway Minister also launched two AC metro rakes for metro rail.

Minister of State for Shipping Mukul Ray, Minister for State for Rural Development Shishir Adhikari and other senior railway officials were also present on the occasion.

India’s first double-decker train is fully AC

India’s first double-decker train, running between Howrah and Dhanbad is fully air-conditioned.

12383 UP/ 12384 DOWN Howrah-Dhanbad-Howrah trains will run five days a week from each side.

The train comprises nine coaches including seven double-decker air-conditioned chair cars accommodating 128 passengers each and two generator cars.

The train will run at a permissible speed of 110 kms per hour on the Howrah- Bardhaman chord line. The coaches will have control discharge toilets.

The train will start from Howrah station at 3.20 pm on every Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday and reach Dhanbad station at 7.40 p.m. From Dhanbad, it will start at 5.00 a.m. every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday and arrives at Howrah station at 9.15 a.m.

The train will halt at Barddhaman, Durgapur, Asansol, Barakar and Kumardhubi.

The computerized ticket reservation facility for the new train is open for the general public.