Vande Bharat Express launch date exclusive! Prime Minister Narendra Modi will flag off the much-awaited Train 18 or Vande Bharat Express between Delhi and Varanasi next week.
Vande Bharat Express launch date exclusive! Prime Minister Narendra Modi will flag off the much-awaited Train 18 or Vande Bharat Express between Delhi and Varanasi on February 15 next week, Financial Express Online learns. An informed source told Financial Express Online that the engine-less Vande Bharat Express will be flagged off by PM Modi from Delhi at 10:00 AM next Friday. Vande Bharat Express is India’s fastest engine-less train at 180 kmph and is expected to replace the Shatabdi Express trains on the Indian Railways network. Commonly called Train 18 after the year it was manufactured in, the first Vande Bharat Express will take 8 hours to travel the over 770 kilometres distance between Delhi and Varanasi.
Vande Bharat Express as part of its regular service will start from Delhi at 6:00 AM to reach Varanasi at 2:00 PM. On the way back it will depart from Varanasi at 3:00 PM to reach Delhi at 11:00 PM. Enroute the self-propelled train will stop at Kanpur and Allahabad (now Prayagraj) on both sides. The maximum permissible speed on the section is 130 kmph. Sources told Financial Express Online that the fares of Vande Bharat Express will be around 40-50% higher than the base fare of Shatabdi Express trains. However, no flexi-fare will be applicable on the new Train 18 aka Vande Bharat Express.
Some of the salient features of the new Vande Bharat Express are; European-style comfortable seats, rotating seats in the Executive chair car, aircraft-like diffused lighting, swanky mini pantry, modular bio-vacuum toilets, fully sealed gangways for dust-free environment and easy movement of passengers, automatic doors with sliding footsteps, automatic temperature control system and importantly disabled-friendly toilets and wheelchair parking spaces.
Vande Bharat Express has been manufactured under PM Modi’s ‘Make in India’ initiative at a cost of Rs 97 crore by the Integral Coach Factory (ICF) Chennai. The all air-conditioned chair car has both non-Executive and Executive chair car coaches. The 16-coach train has an international look and feel, with several countries already expressing export interest.