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.
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.
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.
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.