On The Fast Track

The Hindu Business Line|October 12, 2019

On The Fast Track
The government seeks to boost tourism to pilgrim centres as well as enliven train travel with its Vande Bharat Express
Garima Singh

The train looks impressive — as it should. All white and with blue stripes, it is squeaky clean and spanking new. The fastest train in the Indian Railways, the Vande Bharat Express, also comes with a host of amenities.

Flagged off by home minister Amit Shah last week, the train connects Delhi to Katra, the site of the Vaishno Devi Temple in the Union Territory of Jammu.

With 16 coaches — including two executive passenger cars — the train will run on all days of the week, barring Tuesdays, and stop at three stations en route: Ambala Cantonment, Ludhiana and Jammu Tawi.

Just how different is it from other super-fast trains? For one, it picks up a maximum speed of 130 km per hour, making it the fastest on Indian tracks. There are broad passages between coaches, and sensor-aided doors that open on their own. The seats in the air-conditioned coaches, upholstered in shades of pink, can turn 180 degrees, giving passengers a clearer view of the outside.

The train starts from New Delhi Railway Station at 6am and reaches Katra in eight hours — four hours earlier than the 12 hours that most other trains take to cover the 650-km stretch. It starts from Katra at 3pm and reaches Delhi at 11pm. It takes about two hours to reach Ambala from New Delhi.

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October 12, 2019