New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday flagged off nine Vande Bharat trains to run in different regions via video conferencing from New Delhi.
The new trains that were flagged off are 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.
Speaking on the occasion the Prime Minister called the flagging off of nine Vande Bharat trains an unprecedented occasion of modern connectivity in the country. “This speed and scale of infrastructure development in the country is exactly matching the aspirations of 140 crore Indians”, he said, adding that the trains started today are more modern and comfortable.
As many as 25 Vande Bharat trains are already serving people in different states and union territories. Nine more Vande Bharat will be added to the list after today’s launch. Governors, chief ministers, ministers, members of Parliament and Union railway minister Ashwini Vaishnaw were among those present on the occasion.
11 states to benefit from new launches
Officials of the railway ministry said that these nine trains would boost connectivity across eleven states namely Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Bihar, West Bengal, Kerala, Odisha, Jharkhand and Gujarat. These trains will be the fastest train along the routes of their operation and will help save considerable time of the passengers.
As compared to the current fastest train along the route, Rourkela- Bhubaneswar – Puri Vande Bharat Express and Kasaragod – Thiruvananthapuram Vande Bharat Express will be faster 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 about half an hour.
In line with the vision to improve connectivity of important religious places across the country, Rourkela- Bhubaneswar – Puri Vande Bharat Express and Tirunelveli-Madurai- Chennai Vande Bharat Express will connect important religious towns of Puri and Madurai. Also, the Vijayawada – Chennai Vande Bharat Express will operate via the Renigunta route and will provide connectivity to Tirupati Pilgrimage centre.
The introduction of these Vande Bharat trains will herald a new standard of rail service in the country. These trains, equipped with world class amenities and advanced safety features, including Kavach technology, will be a key step towards providing modern, speedy and comfortable means of travel to common people, professionals, businessmen, student community and tourists.
Patna-Howrah and Ranchi-Howrah Vande Bharat launched
East central railways (ECR), Hajpur, chief public relations officer (CPRO), Birendra Kumar said that commercial and regular run of Patna-Howrah Vande Bharat will start from September 26
Union minister of state for environment, forest and climate change Ashiwni Kumar Choubey, who was present at Patna junction along with senior officers of the ECR, hailed PM Narendra Modi’s vision for development of the country and said that running of Vande Bharat express trains exemplify the same. The Union minister, however, lambasted Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar for skipping the event despite being invited by the railway ministry to attend the event. “Several ministers of the state (Bihar) did not come despite the invitation by the Railways… They are jealous of the country and state’s development…,” said Choubey, talking to media after the launch event.
The Patna-Howrah Vande Bharat is the 2nd semi high-speed train to to run from Bihar after Patna-Ranchi Vande Bharat train, which was inaugurated on June 27 from Ranchi.
Running schedule and fare of Patna-Howrah Vande Bharat
A senior ECR officer said that Patna-Howrah Vande Bharat will depart Patna junction at 8 in the monring and arrive at Howrah at 2.35pm with stoppages at Patna Saheb, Mokama, Luckeesarai, Jasidih, Jamtara, Asansol and Durgapur. It will depart from Howrah at 3.50pm and reach Patna at 10.40pm the same day. The train has eight upgraded coaches, of which one bogey is executive class, while the rest are air-conditioned chair car. The train will cover the distance of 532km in 6.35 hours, which is amost 1.30 hours less than the fasted train on the route, with top speed of 130kmph.
Officials said that the train will run between Patna and Howrah six days a week except Wednesday. The break day will be used for maintenance. The total number of seats in the executive chair car will be 52 and the total number of seats in the air conditioned chair car will be 478. The fare for executive chair car between Patna and Howrah is ₹2325 without catering charges and ₹2725 with catering, while in air-conditioned chair car class the fare between Patna and Howrah is ₹1160 without catering and ₹1505 with catering. Similarly, the fare for executive chair car between Mokama and Howrah is ₹1975 and ₹2375, whereas travel in the chair car between Patna and Howrah is ₹995 without catering and ₹1340 with catering.