Built over a span of eighteen months, Vande Bharat Express is part of “Make in India” initiative – a proud badge on Indian sleeves. Being subjected to trials in the later part of 2018, Vande Bharat Express managed to reach the speed of 180 kmph, becoming the country’s fastest. Even operating at 160 kmph, it can outpace Shatabdi Express by 30 kmph. The unit cost was disclosed to be ₹100 crore for the first rake. And, the cost is expected to decrease with subsequent production. Earlier named Train 18, it will be inaugurated by PM Narendra Modi on 15 February at 10 AM from the New Delhi Railway station.
With all the final preparations in place, it will be a delight to see what magic the “bullet train” manages to pull off, once in action. It will run on the tracks from the national capital to the holy city of Varanasi, reducing the travel time to just 8 hours. Its other route is from New Delhi to Habibganj, which will be covered in just 6 hours! However, the latter route will be inaugurated sometime in March 2019.
Hooked yet? Read on to see why the train is making it to all the big talks this year.
Vande Bharat Express: A success story
Vande Bharat Express has been made in Chennai, with Integral Coach Factory (ICF) responsible for its designing and building. However, some parts like seats, doors, brake system etc have been brought in from abroad. The authorities plan on producing all the parts domestically in the next unit. Practically replacing the Shatabdi Express, Vande Bharat Express is certainly quite something to behold. Here’s why-
a. Less Expensive
Vande Bharat Express has proven to be around 40% cheaper, compared to if a similar train had been imported.
b. Automatic doors, convenient entryway
Vande Bharat Express boasts automatic sliding doors, along with a sliding footstep. No more springing up uncomfortably into train compartments!
The automatic doors will open only when the train is already halted, and Vande Bharat Express will resume its journey only when the all the doors are shut again. Moreover, there is CCTV surveillance inside every compartment.
There are two words that can make anybody uneasy – train toilets. However, with Vande Bharat Express, that will be a thing of the past. The train has bio-vacuum toilets, coupled with touch-free fittings.
The modern-age train is all PWD-friendly. This also includes People With Disabilities (PWD) friendly toilets.
The list doesn’t end here, with Vande Bharat Express offering multiple “first in the market” features for the people. It is proudly equipped with things like WiFi, 360 degrees rotational seats, automatic climate control air conditioning, individual charging sockets etc.
Routes and fares
Vande Bharat Express, reportedly, has both non-Executive and Executive chair cars. The former can cost anywhere between ₹1600 and ₹1700, while the latter’s prices would fall in the range of ₹2800-₹2900.
The ticket prices for Vande Bharat Express have not been declared, yet. However, they are expected to be slightly costlier than the likes of Rajdhani and Shatabdi Express. Well worth the margin, one would say, considering the facilities provided.
Vande Bharat Express at a glance
The plans for Vande Bharat Express have its services commencing from mid-February 2019. This had been done to facilitate devotees who would make their way to the Kumbh Mela in Prayagraj. And, needless to say, with the travel time cut down considerably, the train will provide relief to countless commuters.
Five more units of Vande Bharat Express have already been planned. The Railways Department, along with ICF, is now laying down the blueprints for Train 20, another high-speed train. Hopefully, we will soon be witnessing a transformed railway network in the country – securing us better speed and future.