Vande Bharat Express, formerly known as Train 18, stands as a significant achievement in the realm of Indian Railways. Currently, there are 41 Active Vande Bharat Express Trains operating on various rail routes across 15 Indian Railways Zones, including 6 New Vande Bharat Trains that were flagged off on December 30, 2023. This marks a leap in semi-high-speed train technology.
It holds the distinction of being the first semi-high-speed train entirely built in India, boasting a maximum speed of 180 km/h. Designed by the RDSO and manufactured by the Integral Coach Factory (ICF) in Chennai, a subsidiary of the Indian Railways, this train is more than just a mode of transportation. It’s a symbol of the country’s technological prowess in the field of railway transportation, aptly named after the national song “Vande Mataram.”
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Key Note: The journey of Vande Bharat Express commenced with the inaugural service between New Delhi and Varanasi, flagged off by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on February 15, 2019, at the New Delhi railway station. This marked a significant milestone, signifying the inauguration of a new era in Indian rail travel.
Key Note: Initially, the Indian government targeted reaching 75 Vande Bharat services by August 2023 in commemoration of 75 years of Indian independence. Subsequently, the deadline was extended to August 2024.
The Vande Bharat Express, run by Indian Railways, offers day train services for medium-distance travel, connecting Indian cities less than 10 hours apart, much like the Shatabdi Express. While it can go pretty fast, the top speed depends on things like speed limits, stops, and traffic. Because of its modern features and passenger preferences, Vande Bharat is set to replace Shatabdi Express trains.
For example, the Delhi-Bhopal service has a maximum speed of 160 km/h, while other services vary between 110–130 km/h. During trials, these trains reached speeds of 183 km/h, surpassing the certified speed of 160 km/h. Notably, the train boasts rapid acceleration and deceleration, going from 0 to 100 km/h in just 52 seconds during trials.
Vannde Bharat Express Facts: Vande Bharat Express, India’s first semi-high-speed train, achieves a top speed of 160 km/h on the Rani Kamalapati (Habibganj) to Hazrat Nizamuddin route. The route from New Delhi to Varanasi has the highest average speed of 95 km/h, while the Coimbatore to Bengaluru Cantonment route maintains a slower average speed of 58 km/h. With the longest route covering 759 km from New Delhi to Varanasi and the shortest at 296 km from Gorakhpur to Lucknow, the train offers diverse travel options.
Vande Bharat Express train is also eco-friendly, with 50% of its components being manufactured locally in India. It is designed to reduce travel time, improve passenger comfort and safety, and enhance the overall travel experience for passengers. The Vande Bharat Express is an enormous source of pride for India’s railway system, serving as a symbol of the country’s exceptionalism and showcasing its remarkable engineering and technological capabilities. It holds immense importance as a source of national pride.
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Vande Bharat Express Features and Facilities: Vande Bharat Express, with its advanced features and facilities, offers two comfortable seating options: Chair Car (CC) and Executive Chair Car (EC). In the 16-coach version, there are 14 Chair Cars and 2 Executive Chair Cars, providing a total seating capacity of 1128 passengers. For the 8-coach Mini Vande Bharat Express, there are 7 Chair Cars and 1 Executive Chair Car, accommodating 530 passengers.
The Chair Car seats are arranged in a 3×2 configuration, while Executive Chair Car seats follow a 2×2 configuration. Each Chair Car in the Vande Bharat Express is designed to comfortably accommodate 78 passengers, and each Executive Chair Car is tailored to accommodate 52 passengers. The color theme adds to the ambiance, with Aqua Color for AC Chair Coaches and Pink Color for AC Executive Chair Coaches
Passengers can enjoy onboard amenities such as Wi-Fi, an infotainment system, reading lights, and electric outlets. The train boasts large windows in all coaches for observation. Onboard catering, offering both vegetarian and non-vegetarian meal options, is included in the standard fare.
The standout feature of Vande Bharat Express is the fully sealed gangway (Vestibules), which keeps dust and noise outside. The semi-permanent couplers ensure a smooth, bump-free travel experience. Other notable facilities include automatic doors, smoke alarms, CCTV cameras, an odour control system, bio-vacuum toilets, and sensor-based water taps.
For storage, overhead racks are available, and the train includes additional safety features like KAVACH, along with extra parking brakes and a traction motor system. The seating arrangement is airline-style, with rotatable seats adding to passenger comfort. The train’s comprehensive offerings make it a modern and efficient choice for travel.
Since its launch, Vande Bharat has become a popular choice for passengers, and the Indian government has expressed its commitment to expanding the train’s operations to more routes across the country. The success of the Vande Bharat Express has also inspired the development of other indigenous high-speed trains in India, furthering the country’s efforts to modernize its railway system and promote sustainable transportation.
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Overall, the Vande Bharat Express Train represents a major milestone in the history of Indian railways and is a testament to the country’s technological prowess in the field of transportation.