When the Rajdhani Express had its first run in March 1969, its speed and amenities made it a wonder on wheels. Fifty years on, the journey may not be as luxurious, but it’s still a favourite for many
It was sometime in November last year that 38-year-old Souroshankha Maji checked the availability of tickets in the first class of the Rajdhani Express travelling from Howrah to Delhi on March 3, and hit the panic button. “A bunch of us had been planning to take this trip for the past two-and-a-half years and one day I found there were only 16 tickets left,” recalls Maji, a rail enthusiast and member of several Indian railways fan clubs, including the Rail Enthusiasts’ Society and the Indian Railways Fans Club.
Maji immediately texted his fellow travellers, and the next morning, even as they started making online reservations, Maji made his way to the station. All the time, till he had the ticket safely in his hand, he was monitoring the number of seats left on the railway site. But he wasn’t going to make an online reservation. “I hadn’t been to a reservation counter in years. But I wanted a printed ticket for this,” he explains; a memento of a special journey – the golden run or 50th anniversary journey of the Rajdhani Express. Read more