Today Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagged off nine Vande Bharat trains, which include two services on South Central Railways (SCR). These trains will link religious and tourist locations across 11 states.
The inauguration of Vande Bharat train service between Kacheguda – Yesvantpur and Vijayawada – MGR Chennai routes was done by Modi through video conferencing.
Talking about the new Vande Bharat trains, Modi said, “Speed, the scale of infrastructure development is matching aspirations of 140 crore Indians…Today people of Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Bihar, West Bengal, Kerala, Odisha, Jharkhand, and Gujarat will get the facility of Vande Bharat Express trains. These new Vande Bharat Express trains depict the new energy of the country.”
“That day is not far when Vande Bharat trains will connect each and every part of the country,” said the prime minister mentioning that “Popularity of Vande Bharat trains constantly rising; over 1,11,00,000 passengers have already travelled in them.”
The inauguration event also saw Union Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw in presence. The official statement said that these trains were intended to realize the prime minister’s vision of enhancing connectivity across India and delivering world-class facilities and advanced safety features, including Kavach technology to rail passengers.
The Indian Railways is also planning to introduce a sleeper version of the Vande Bharat and Vande Metro before this fiscal ends next year. As per the officials of railways, the semi-high-speed train series will also include a non-air conditioned push-pull version with 22 coaches and a locomotive, which will be introduced in October 2024.
The sleeper version will be launched by March 2024. The coaches for both the sleeper version as well as the metro are being created by Chennai’s Integral Coach Factory (ICF). Vande Metro will be designed by the end of 2023 and launched in January or February next year.
The new trains that are flagged off include:
-Udaipur – Jaipur Vande Bharat Express;
-Tirunelveli-Madurai- Chennai Vande Bharat Express;
-Hyderabad –Bengaluru Vande Bharat Express;
-Vijayawada – Chennai (via Renigunta) Vande Bharat Express;
-Patna – Howrah Vande Bharat Express;
-Kasaragod – Thiruvananthapuram Vande Bharat Express;
-Rourkela – Bhubaneswar – Puri Vande Bharat Express;
-Ranchi – Howrah Vande Bharat Express; and
-Jamnagar-Ahmedabad Vande Bharat Express.
The statement also added that these Vande Bharat trains will be the quickest trains along the routes of their function and will assist in saving a good amount of time for travelers.
For example, Rourkela- Bhubaneswar – Puri Vande Bharat Express and Kasaragod – Thiruvananthapuram Vande Bharat Express will be shorter to reach by about 3 hours; Hyderabad – Bengaluru Vande Bharat Express by more than 2.5 hours; Tirunelveli-Madurai- Chennai Vande Bharat Express by more than 2 hours; Ranchi – Howrah Vande Bharat Express, Patna – Howrah Vande Bharat Express and Jamnagar-Ahmedabad Vande Bharat Express by about 1 hour; and Udaipur – Jaipur Vande Bharat Express by approximately half an hour.
It seems interesting to note how under Modi’s leadership, there are several initiatives and campaigns being launched to enhance the infrastructure and living conditions all over the country.