India's first semi-high speed train, the Vande Bharat Express, was flagged off by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday from the New Delhi Railway Station amid sombre mood in the backdrop of the terror attack in Pulwama.
Indigenous 'Train 18'
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday flagged off the indigenous Train 18, renamed Vande Bharat Express, from New Delhi railway station to his Lok Sabha constituency Varanasi. The train has been manufactured by the Integral Coach Factory in Chennai.
Vande Bharat Express
The ceremony, which came in the backdrop of the terror attack on a CRPF convoy in Jammu and Kashmir, saw a sombre Modi telling the gathering at the station that he was "grateful to designers and engineers behind Vande Bharat Express".
Fastest train on Indian rail network
The 16-coach train will clock 160 km per hour - the fastest on the Indian rail network. It has 16 air-conditioned coaches of which two are executive class. The total seating capacity is 1,128 passengers.
Pantry facility in each coach
The Prime Minister also inspected the coaches and the engine cabin of the Vande Bharat Express along with Railways Minister Piyush Goyal and other senior railway officials. Every coach has a pantry facility to serve hot meals and, hot and cold beverages. The insulation is meant to keep heat and noise to very low levels for additional passenger comfort.
Future of Indian railway system
Goyal said he was happy that this train was a culmination of the seeding of a vision for a future railway system which may lead to the development of a bullet train that will be completely designed and manufactured in India.
Commercial run from February 17
Bookings on the Vande Bharat Express opened on Friday. The train, which will start replacing Shatabdi Express trains, will run commercially from February 17 from Delhi to Varanasi five days a week. Adding up the green footprints, the train has regenerative braking system which can save up to 30 per cent of electrical energy.
Equipped with automatic doors
All coaches are equipped with automatic doors, GPS-based audio-visual passenger information system, on-board hotspot WiFi for entertainment purposes and very comfortable seating. All toilets are bio-vacuum type. The lighting is dual mode, that is diffused for general illumination and personal for every seat.