New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday flagged off the much talked-about Train 18 from here, the fastest train developed by India, touching a peak speed of 180 kmph. It has been christened as ‘Vande Bharat Express’ and will run between New Delhi and Varanasi, Modi’s Lok Sabha constituency five days a week.
Railway Minister Piyush Goyal boarded the train for its inaugural run. The train is scheduled to stop at Kanpur and Prayagraj (scheduled halts) for 40 minutes for functions to be held there.
The engine-less train, the first in its class with state-of-the-art features, has been rolled out from the Integral Coach Factory (ICF) in Chennai. It was conceptualised and developed under the aegis of former general manager of ICF Sudhanshu Mani. It will replace the existing Shatabdi class of trains across the country.
Being engine-less, it can accelerate and decelerate faster than normal trains, according to Indian Railways. But it will run at a curtailed speed of 130 kmph, the maximum permissible speed permitted in the railway network. The distance between New Delhi and Varanasi will be covered in right hours, with stoppages at Kanpur and Prayagraj.
Also Read: Are Flights Cheaper Than Vande-Bharat Train 18?
Tickets are priced at Rs 1700 for AC Chair Car and Rs 3310 for Executive class. Passengers will be served food from premium brands like Nescafe, Landmark Hotel, Pind Balluchi and Chaayos. Ticket bookings have started for operations from February 17.
The swanky new train has automatic doors with sliding footsteps, GPS-based audio-visual passenger information system, bio-vacuum toilets, onboard WiFi hotspot and dual mode individual lighting. It has 16 coaches and has more seats than regular Shatabdi trains because of the shifting of all electric equipment below the coaches.
Train 18 also has regenerative braking that will recover 30 per cent of electrical energy during braking.