Vande Bharat train covers Ahmedabad-Mumbai distance in 5.30 hours during its maiden run

  • | Friday | 30th September, 2022

Ahmedabad, Sep 30 (PTI) The new Vande Bharat Express train on Friday covered the distance of 492 km between Ahmedabad and Mumbai in 5.30 hours during its inaugural journey.As many as 313 passengers travelled by the train -- dubbed as `Vande Bharat Express 2.0" as it is an upgraded version -- on the first day.Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagged off the train from Gandhinagar around 10.30 in the morning. He also travelled on it from Gandhinagar to Kalupur station in Ahmedabad. The train departed for Mumbai from platform number 9 of the Ahmedabad railway station at 2 pm and reached the Mumbai Central station at 7.30 pm.Sumit Thakur, chief public relations officer of Western Railway, said there were 313 passengers on board -- 47 in executive chair car class and others in chair car coaches -- besides railway officials and mediapersons.The booking for the new train had opened only a day before.The passengers were excited to be part of the train"s inaugural run and clicked photos as well as shot videos on mobile phones during the journey.As the train streaked by, passengers at various stations along the route, railway employees working on the adjoining tracks and passers-by on the roads and people in the buildings along the tracks were also seen clicking pictures or shooting videos.Vacuum toilets like those seen at airports, spacious and rotating seats in the executive chair car class, the passenger addressing system, wide windows and end-to-end gangway were some of the most appreciated features of the new train.Jaydeep Nimawat, a real estate businessman who was travelling to Surat from Ahmedabad with his family for Navratri celebrations, was clearly impressed."This train is awesome compared to other trains. The seats are spacious and comfortable," he said.Siddharth Kinariwala, a railway enthusiast, said he booked a ticket online for a journey from Ahmedabad to Surat."I booked a ticket as soon as my boss approved the leave this morning. I wanted to have first-hand experience of the train," he said.The seats are comfortable and have good leg space, and the interiors as well as the facilities for passengers too are good, he said.K K Thakur, co-loco pilot for the Gandhinagar to Ahmedabad journey, told PTI that it was a great honour for him and his colleague to get the opportunity to pilot the inaugural run.They were given special training beforehand as the train"s dashboard is different from that installed on ordinary trains, he said."When we left Gandhinagar, the atmosphere was charged. People chanted `Vande Mataram" when the prime minister showed the green flag," Thakur said.The chair car coaches are a little bit congested due to the narrow gangway, a railway official observed.An employee of the IRCTC said they faced difficulty pushing food trolleys as seat handles obstructed the movement."But compared to the old Vande Bharat trains running on other routes, this train has better seats as these are the reclining ones," the employee said, adding that the interiors too are much better.The train, which connects the capital cities of Maharashtra and Gujarat, is the third Vande Bharat Express. The first such train was started on New Delhi-Varanasi route, while the second one was started on New Delhi-Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Katra route.As per WR spokesperson Thakur, passengers will have to shell out Rs 1,275 for chair car ticket and Rs 2,455 for executive chair car ticket for Gandhinagar-Mumbai Central journey.For Mumbai Central-Gandhinagar journey, a chair car ticket will cost Rs 1,440 and executive chair car ticket will cost Rs 2,650. The difference in the fare for two journeys was due to catering charges, said an official.Prime Minister Modi inspected the train coaches and the control centre of the locomotive engine before flagging off the train. "Travelled on board the Vande Bharat Express! It was a delight to meet women start-up entrepreneurs, talented youth, those associated with the Railways team and those involved in building the Vande Bharat train. It was a memorable journey," the prime minister tweeted.The passengers who travelled during the inaugural run were presented with a souvenir ticket and memento.The Vande Bharat Express 2.0 offers an "aircraft-like" travelling experience, claimed Western Railway in a release, adding that it is equipped with advanced state-of-the-art safety features including an indigenously developed Train Collision Avoidance System - KAVACH."The improved Vande Bharat Express weighs 392 tons as compared to the previous version of 430 tons. It also has Wi-Fi content on-demand facility and every coach is equipped with 32” screens providing Passenger Information and Infotainment," Thakur said.It dispenses with power cars and saves about 30 per cent electricity with advanced regenerative braking system. Also, its air-conditioners are 15 per cent more energy efficient, WR said. Mukesh Yadav, a passenger, remarked that the train has better riding comfort compared to other trains on the route, but the coaches need to be more sound-proof. Prime minister Modi in his speech after flagging off the train had praised the sound-proofing inside the train.Siddharth Joshi, who is studying railway systems in Germany, said the train was probably started on this route with an eye on the national games in Gujarat and the coming Assembly elections. Railway officials fear that the Vande Bhrarat Express may affect the occupancy in the Shatabdi Express on the same route. But Joshi felt that people may not prefer the new train over Shatabdi which has almost the same speed but less fare. B K Meena, guard of the train between Ahmedabad to Mumbai, told PTI that the crew cabin for loco pilots and guards is quite spacious and comfortable. PTI KK KRK KRK KRK


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