Good news for train passengers! In a major overhaul of train schedules in India, the Indian Railways, under the leadership of minister Piyush Goyal is likely to reduce the travel time of over 500 long-distance trains by up to 2 hours. A senior railway official said, innovative timetabling will soon be introduced, which will reduce the travel time by 15 minutes to up to 2 hours.

Effective from November, the train timings will be implemented after the internal audit of 50 mail and express trains that will be upgraded to super-fast services. The official further added, "Our plan is to maximise the use of the existing rolling stock. It can be done in two ways - if we have a train that is waiting somewhere to return, we can use it during the lie over period. In the new timetable around 50 such trains which will be run like this. Fifty-one trains will immediately see reduced run time from one to three hours. This will go up to more than 500 trains."

The audit exercise is a part of the overhaul of the rail system to increase the average speed of the existing trains, the official said.

Some of the trains that will experience a major change in the arrival timings include the Bhopal-Jodhpur Express that will reach 95 minutes early. The Guwahati-Indore Special train will complete its 2,330-km journey 115 minutes early and the 1929-km journey of the Ghazipur-Bandra Terminus Express will be completed 95 minutes earlier. In fact, the halt time of many trains have also been reduced and some stoppages have also been struck out from a train's itinerary, depending on the number of footfalls it receives.

The new timetable will also provide each railway division two to four hours for maintenance works. The railways is also in the process of reviewing permanent speed restrictions.