Acknowledging its made-in-India status, the Indian Railways has named the indigenously manufactured Train 18 as Vande Bharat Express, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal said on Sunday. The train, which is set to run between Delhi and Varanasi at a maximum speed of 160 km per hour, will be flagged off by Prime Minister Narendra Modi soon.
The 16-coach train, built in 18 months at a cost of Rs 97 crore by the Modern Coach Factory, Rae Bareli, in 18 months, is regarded as a successor to the 30-year-old Shatabdi Express. It is also the first locomotive-less train in the country, made under the government's Make in India project. The fully air-conditioned train will stop at Kanpur and Allahabad and will have two executive chair cars.
"It is completely made in India and various names were suggested by the general public but we have decided to name it Vande Bharat Express. A gift on the occasion of the Republic Day to people. Will request the prime minister to flag it off," said Goyal.
Railways Minister P Goyal: Train 18 will now be known as Vande Bharat Express. It's a train built completely in India by Indian engineers, in a span of 18 months. It'll ply from Delhi to Varanasi. It is an example that it's possible to make world-class trains under Make in India. pic.twitter.com/YOO3Mzt84O— ANI (@ANI) January 27, 2019
Earlier in December, the CCRS had given its nod to run the train at a maximum speed of 160 km per hour but 20 conditions have been imposed, including fencing along the tracks. For maximum speed of 130 km per hour, the CCRS has suggested fencing at vulnerable points to avoid any accident.
Train 18, which is set to replace the Shatabdi series, has the potential to run between 160 km per hour to 200 km per hour and breached the 180-km per hour mark at trials.
The gleaming, blue-nosed train comes fitted with amenities on a par with the best in the world - on-board Wi-Fi, GPS-based passenger information system, touch-free bio-vacuum toilets, LED lighting, mobile charging points, and a climate control system that adjusts the temperature according to occupancy and weather.