All you need to know about Vande Bharat Express

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The shiny, white-nosed Train 18 or Vande Bharat Express is a semi-high speed intercity EMU that will make the latest addition to Indian Railways. This train was conceived under the Indian government's ‘Make in India’ initiative and was designed and built by Integral Coach Factory (ICF) in Chennai in a record 18 months’ time. Indian Railways’ fastest engine-less train will be inaugurated by Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi when it starts its commercial operations in the coming days.  New Delhi - Varanasi would be the first route operational.

The Train 18 is set to replace the Shatabdi Express trains in India. 

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1. Train Design:

The train is aerodynamically advanced and resembles an exterior of a bullet train. With a driver coach at each end of the train, the train’s turnaround time would be reduced significantly, thus saving travel time. Train 18 will have 16 passenger cars and a total passenger carrying capacity of 1196. While the train will have 2 first class compartments with a seating capacity of 52 each, the remaining 14 coaches will have a seating capacity of 78 each.

2. Fastest ever?

With a potential to run between 160 kilometers per hour to 200 kilometers per hour, Train 18 has already breached the mark of 180 kilometers per hour, making it the fastest train in India. The Chief Commissioner Railway Safety, however, has curtailed the speed limit to 130 kilometers per hour and given the go-ahead to a maximum speed of 160 kilometers per hour keeping safety in mind. 

3. Vande Bharat Express Schedule and Route:

Train 18 will be deployed on the following two routes:

  • New Delhi Junction - Prayagraj Junction - Varanasi Junction 

Train 18 will depart from New Delhi at 6:00 AM and cover the distance of 780 kilometers in 8 hours to reach Varanasi at 2:00 PM. It will make two stops en route - Kanpur station at 10:20 AM and Prayagraj (formerly Allahabad) at 12:25 PM. 

  • New Delhi Junction - Habibganj Junction 

Train 18 will depart from New Delhi at 6:00 AM and cover the distance of 707 kilometers in 6 hours to reach Habibganj at 12:00 noon.

4. Onboard catering:

The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) will be outsourcing the catering operations and the passengers will be served breakfast, lunch and a snack on board. Get ready to be treated to the best service on-board. While breakfast will be of the likes of muffins and doughnuts, lunch and dinner will be five-star like! 

5. Train 18 Features:

Here are some of the features of the Vande Bharat Express 

  • Automatic doors and a sliding footstep
  • Fully-air conditioned
  • CCTV cameras in every compartment
  • Bio-vacuum toilets with touch-free fittings like auto-sensor taps 
  • PWD-friendly toilets 
  • Onboard Wi-Fi
  • 360-degree rotating seats

6. Upcoming Project:

Following the success of Train 18, the next model to be developed will be Train 20. This train will feature an aluminum body thus reducing the weight and will also have lie-flat beds. 

*Exact schedule for the New Delhi - Habibganj route is yet to be declared

**EMU - Electric Multiple Unit

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