Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagged of Vande Bharat Express, India’s first semi-high speed train on Friday amid mournful scene in the backdrop of Pulwama terroris attacks.
Railway Minister Piyush Goyal and other members of Railway Board were present during the inaugural ceremony. The Train 18 or Vande Bharat will travel from Delhi to Varanasi at a speed of 160 kmph.
The train will reach Varanasi from Delhi in 9 hours 45 minutes. This includes the halt time of 40 minutes at Kanpur and Allahabad.
Prime Minister inspected the Vande Bharat Express and said, “I am grateful to designers and engineers behind Vande Bharat Express which will take its first trip from Delhi to Varanasi today. With our sincerity and hardwork in the last 4.5 years we have tried to improve railways.”
The train has been built at Integral Coach Factory, Chennai. The construction of the train took 18 months.
The Vande Bharat Express has 16 air conditioned coaches with two executive class. All the coaches have automatic doors, GPS-based audio-visual passenger information system and on-board hotspot WiFi for entertainment purposes.
The train has a pantry coach to serve hot meals and all the toilets are bio-vaccum type.
The bookings for the train are open and it can be done online. The chair car will cost Rs. car ticket will cost Rs. 1,760 and the executive class fare will be Rs. 3,310. As per the sources from Railways, the tickets of the first commercial run of Vande Bharat Express have been completely sold out . The first commercial run is on February 17th.
Railway Minister Piyush Goyal said, the inauguration of Train 18 or Vande Bharat Express is a befitting reply to the terrorists who launched the attack against CRPF convoy which took lives of 44 CRPF personnel.
He further added that the decision to continue the inaugural ceremony was to show the enemies that India won’t stop, India will continue to move forward with the unity and courage.