The newly-launched Vande Bharat Express trains were welcomed with huge celebrations and pomp on Sunday.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagged off nine Vande Bharat trains, including two services on the South Central Railways (SCR).
Several railway stations in Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, and Kerala among others witnessed celebrations and performances on the occasion.
In Kerala’s Kasaragod railway station, a puja was performed to honour the new beginnings of the India Railways. Kerala got its second Vande Bharat which will run between Kasaragod and Thiruvananthapuram.
Several people with musical bands and instruments were seen in Andhra Pradesh’s Vijayawada station as the Vande Bharat train from Vijayawada to Chennai route was flagged off.
An air of excitement was among people who gathered at Andhra’s Kurnool City railway station in order to catch a glimpse of the Hyderabad – Bengaluru Vande Bharat Express.
An enthusiastic crowd of people gathered at Gujarat’s Viramgam station and performed Garba to welcome the Jamnagar-Ahmedabad Vande Bharat express.
जामनगर – अहमदाबाद #VandeBharatExpress के स्वागत की तैयारी में गुजरात के विरमगाम स्टेशन पर गरबा करते लोगों में गजब का उत्साह दिखा। #VandeBharat pic.twitter.com/ixbDdvK00U— Ministry of Railways (@RailMinIndia) September 24, 2023
Flowers were showered upon the Kasaragod-Thiruvananthapuram Vande Bharat Express at Tirur Railway station.
At Jharkhand’s Tatanagar station, the Ranchi-Howrah Vande Bharat Express was welcomed by a massive crowd. People were seen showering flowers and clicking pictures as the express train arrived at the station.
An excited crowd gathered at the Vijaynagar station to catch a glimpse of and welcome the Udaipur-Jaipur Vande Bharat Express.
Several people eagerly waited at Andhra’s Kurnool City Railway Station in order to catch a glimpse of the Hyderabad – Bengaluru Vande-Bharat Express.
उदयपुर-जयपुर #VandeBharatExpress जब विजयनगर स्टेशन पहुंची, वहां ट्रेन के स्वागत में एकत्र हुए लोगों का उत्साह देखने लायक था। #VandeBharat pic.twitter.com/wmztorlEgu— Ministry of Railways (@RailMinIndia) September 24, 2023
People at Rajasthan’s Bhilwara station welcomed the Udaipur-Jaipur Vande Bharat Express with Bharat Mata slogans.
उदयपुर-जयपुर #VandeBharatExpress के भीलवाड़ा स्टेशन पहुंचने पर वहां उपस्थित लोगों ने भारत माता के जयघोष के साथ #VandeBharat ट्रेन का स्वागत किया। pic.twitter.com/w2P2EOZN2F— Ministry of Railways (@RailMinIndia) September 24, 2023
A grand welcome with drums and instruments was received by the Ranchi-Howrah Vande Bharat Express at West Bengal’s Kotshila railway station.
पश्चिम बंगाल के कोटशिला स्टेशन पहुंचने पर रांची – हावड़ा #VandeBharatExpress का ढोल नगाड़ों के साथ जबरदस्त स्वागत किया गया।#VandeBharat pic.twitter.com/gfsmgrl6oZ— Ministry of Railways (@RailMinIndia) September 24, 2023
The prime minister inaugurated Vande Bharat train service between Kacheguda – Yesvantpur and Vijayawada – MGR Chennai routes through video conferencing.
The inaugural also saw the presence of Union Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw.
PM Modi said, “Speed, the scale of infrastructure development is matching aspirations of 140 crore Indians…Today people of Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Bihar, West Bengal, Kerala, Odisha, Jharkhand and Gujarat will get the facility of Vande Bharat Express trains. These new Vande Bharat Express trains depict the new energy of the country.”
“That day is not far when Vande Bharat trains will connect each and every part of the country,” the prime minister said, adding, “The Popularity of Vande Bharat trains constantly rising; over 1,11,00,000 passengers have already travelled in them.”
The Nine New Vande Bharat Trains
- Kerala (Kasaragod-Thiruvananthapuram)
- Rajasthan (Jaipur-Udaipur)
- Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu (Vijayawada-Chennai)
- Tamil Nadu (Tirunelveli-Chennai)
- Gujarat (Jamnagar-Ahmedabad)
- Jharkhand and West Bengal (Ranchi-Howrah)
- Telangana and Karnataka [Secunderabad (Kacheguda)-Bengaluru (Yesvantpur)
- Odisha (Rourkela-Puri)
- Bihar and West Bengal (Patna-Howrah)
New Vande Bharat Trains to Become Fastest Trains on Major Routes
The Kacheguda – Yesvantpur Vande Bharat will be the fastest train on this route, with a seating capacity of 530 passengers. In comparison to other train services between these two cities, this Vande Bharat will have the least journey time.
The Vande Bharat train on Vijayawada – MGR Chennai Central route — with a seating capacity of 530 passengers — will be the first and fastest train on the route.
These Vande Bharat trains will cut travel time between destinations by three hours in the Rourkela-Bhubaneswar-Puri and Kasaragod-Thiruvananthapuram routes; more than two and a half hours for Hyderabad-Bengaluru; more than two hours for Tirunelveli-Madurai-Chennai; about one hour for Ranchi-Howrah, Patna-Howrah and Jamnagar-Ahmedabad; about half an hour for between Udaipur and Jaipur.
Indian Railways Planning to Launch Vande Metro, Sleeper Version of Vande Bharat
The Indian Railways is also looking to launch a sleeper version of the Vande Bharat and Vande Metro before this fiscal ends next year. According to railway officials, the semi-high-speed train series will also have a non-air conditioned push-pull version with 22 coaches and a locomotive, which will be launched in October 2024.
The sleeper version will be rolled out by March 2024. The coaches for both the sleeper version as well as the metro are being made by Chennai’s Integral Coach Factory (ICF). Vande Metro will be ready by the end of 2023 and rolled out in January or February next year.
(with PTI and ANI inputs)