After Vande Bharat, more high-speed trains coming

Mamuni Das | | Updated on: Dec 06, 2021

Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagging off Vande Bharat Express from New Delhi station, in New Delhi on Friday, February 15, 2019. | Photo Credit: Sandeep Saxena

130 similar semi-high-speed trains will give it company soon, says Railway Minister

On board Train 18, February15 India plans to get on tracks 100 semi-high-speed trains on the lines of Train 18 or Vande Bharat Express, the country’s fastest engine-less train. On Friday, a day after the deadly terror attack in Kashmir’s Pulwama, Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagged off the Vande Bharat Express from New Delhi railway station.

“We have started tendering for 30 such trains. We have also sought permission for another 100 trains that will run along the Golden Quadrilateral and its diagonals. This is the first ‘Made in India’ train,” said Railway Minister Piyush Goyal, who boarded the train along with a 200-strong media contingent.

Giving them company were MPs and senior officials of the Railway Ministry. Condoling the death of soldiers in Pulwama, Goyal said it was important to keep the trains running in the aftermath of the terror strike, just like what happened soon after the Mumbai attacks. The Vande Bharat Express has been developed indigenously by the Integral Coach Factory (ICF) in Chennai. Designed for a maximum operational speed of 160 kmph, the train had attained a speed of over 180 kmph during its trials. The train will take eight hours to travel from Delhi to Varanasi and will stop at Kanpur and Allahabad. It will run five days a week. Slick from outside, the train sports a single glass window from one end to another, and resembles a bullet train, another pet project of the Prime Minister.

The purple interiors are comfortable, more spacious than in an airliner. It has about 900 executive seats in 16 air-conditioned coaches and a total of over 1,100 seats. For travel between Delhi and Varanasi, a chair-car ticket will cost ₹1,760, and the executive class fare will be ₹3,310, including food. Train 18 also has a green side to it: its braking system consumes significantly less power compared to conventional trains and the toilets use bio-vacuum technology.

Commercial run from Feb 17

Bookings for the train, which will have its commercial run from February 17, have opened on the IRCTC website. Trains for the first day of commercial run are fully booked. IRCTC has designed the food menu with the Indian Institute of Hotel Management.

Published on February 15, 2019
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