Delhi: PM Modi flags off Vande Bharat, India's fastest train
(Sourced from PTI)
India's first semi-high speed train, the Vande Bharat Express, was flagged off by Prime Minister Narendra Modi today from the New Delhi Railway Station amid sombre mood, in the backdrop of the terror attack in Pulwama that killed at least 40 CRPF personnel yesterday. Railway Minister Piyush Goyal and members of the Railway Board were also present on the occasion. Read the details here.
Goyal and Railway Board members will be on board the train on its inaugural journey. "I am grateful to designers and engineers behind Vande Bharat Express which will take its first trip from Delhi to Varanasi today," the prime minister said. "With our sincerity and hard work in the last 4.5 years, we have tried to improve railways," he said.
India gets the first Semi High Speed Train, 'Vande Bharat Express.' https://t.co/dSZLJaoWRY— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) February 15, 2019
The train will travel from Delhi to Varanasi in nine hours and 45 minutes, instead of the usual 12 hours. This includes stoppage time of 40 minutes each at Kanpur and Allahabad where there will be special programs. PM after inspecting the train, said he was proud that such a train had been produced indigenously at the Integral Coach Factory, Chennai, in 18 months.
The semi-high speed Train 18, which has been recently rechristened Vande Bharat Express, can run up to a maximum speed of 160 kmph and has travel classes like Shatabdi trains but with better facilities for the passengers. The bookings for the train have already begun and it will run commercially from February 17 from Delhi to Varanasi only five days a week.
The train has 16 air-conditioned coaches of which two are executive class. The total seating capacity is 1,128 passengers. It's much more than the conventional Shatabdi rakes of equal number of coaches, thanks to shifting of all electric equipment below coaches and seats in the driving coach also. All coaches are equipped with automatic doors, GPS-based audio-visual passenger information system, and onboard hotspot WiFi.
All toilets are bio-vacuum type. The lighting is dual mode, that is diffused for general illumination and personal for every seat. Every coach has a pantry facility. The insulation is meant to keep heat and noise to very low levels for additional passenger comfort. Adding up the green footprints, the train has regenerative braking system which can save up to 30% of electrical energy.