Prime Minister Narendra Modi has flagged off the Vande Bharat train on five new routes from Bhopal’s Rani Kamalapati Railway Station. Two of these trains will be from Madhya Pradesh and one in Karnataka, Bihar and Goa respectively.
Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, Madhya Pradesh Governor Mangubhai Patel, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Union ministers Narendra Singh Tomar, and Jyotiraditya Scindia, among others, were present on the occasion. Children from different schools were also invited to travel on these Vande Bharat trains.
The five routes which are flagged off are Rani Kamalapati (Bhopal)-Jabalpur Vande Bharat Express; Khajuraho-Bhopal-Indore Vande Bharat Express; Madgaon (Goa)-Mumbai Vande Bharat Express; Dharwad-Bengaluru Vande Bharat Express; and Hatia-Patna Vande Bharat Express, meaning Bihar, Jharkhand and Goa get their first Vande Bharat trains. This will bring up the tally of Vande Bharat trains in India to 23 trains.
“It is a tremendous day. This shows we are advancing and India is marching ahead” said Jharkhand Governor CP Radhakrishnan.
Currently, Vande Bharat Express trains are operational on 18 routes across the country though the Bilaspur Nagpur Vande Bharat train has been temporarily replaced by the Tejas Express. Vande Bharat trains are a hit among the train passenger community as not only is it fast but it also more luxurious with world class passenger amenities.
In spite of Vande Bharat trains being fast and reaching speed of upto 180kmph, but due to the current set of tracks of Indian Railways which cannot support such speeds there is currently a speed restriction on 160kmph on the trains.
According to data shared by the Indian Railways, between 1 April 2022 and 8 February 2023, the Vande Bharat Express had an average occupancy of 99%. Earlier, the central railways had also launched the Vistadome coaches which were semi luxurious AC coaches with seats which could be rotated and with glass ceilings for a better view. In the past few years various modern and semi-high speed trains have been launched such as the Tejas Express.