Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday flagged off the new and upgraded version of the Vande Bharat Express which will run from Gandhinagar in Gujarat to Mumbai in Maharashtra. Post the flag off from Gandhinagar station, Mr. Modi also travelled on the train up to Kalupur Railway Station.
This is the third Vande Bharat Express in the country – after New Delhi-Varanasi and New Delhi-Karta Vande Bharat Express, and comes with several additional features to enhance passenger comfort as well as safety.
The 16-coach train has a seating capacity of 1,128 passengers and will halt at Surat, Vadodara and Ahmedabad stations on both directions. One-way travel time for the Vande Bharat Express from Gandhinagar to Mumbai is estimated at around five and a half hours and the passengers would need to shell out ₹1,275 for traveling in chair car travel class from Mumbai to Gandhinagar and ₹1440 for the journey from Gandhinagar to Mumbai. Likewise, for executive chair car, the fare would be ₹2,455 from Mumbai to Gandhinagar and ₹2650 from Gandhinagar to Mumbai.
"Vande Bharat Express 2.0 between Gandhinagar and Mumbai is going to be a game changer and will boost connectivity between the two business hubs of India. It will enable business owners from Gujarat to travel to Mumbai and vice-versa without bearing the brunt of high-cost airline tickets while availing facilities that are available on air," the government said.
The new train that came with a side recliner seat facility provided only to executive class passengers, is now available in all the travelling classes. Executive coaches have the added feature of 180-degree rotating seats. It is a pre-fitted Kavach (the indigenously-developed train collision avoidance system). The train would also offer wifi-enabled content on demand, 32-inch LCD TVs, higher battery back-up of three hours and a better flood level.
It can reach the speed of 0 to 100 km/hour in 52 seconds, and a maximum speed of up to 180 km/hour. The new Vande Bharat Express is also lighter at 392 tons as compared to the previous version of 430 tons.
“Vande Bharat Express is also going to be environment friendly as the ACs will be 15 per cent more energy efficient. In the new design of Vande Bharat Express, a photo-catalytic ultraviolet air purification system is installed in the Roof-Mounted Package Unit (RMPU) for air purification. As recommended by Central Scientific Instruments Organisation (CSIO), Chandigarh, this system is designed and installed on both ends of RMPU to filter and clean the air free from germs, bacteria, viruses etc. coming through fresh air and return air,” an official release said.