Trial successful, Vande Bharat Express all set for inaugural run on Oct 3

Passengers from New Delhi can now reach Katra in eight hours; other express trains take up to 12 hours
The Vande Bharat Express, during its trial run between Delhi and Katra, halts at Ludhiana Railway Station, Monday, July 22, 2019.(PTI file photo)
The Vande Bharat Express, during its trial run between Delhi and Katra, halts at Ludhiana Railway Station, Monday, July 22, 2019.(PTI file photo)
Updated on Sep 29, 2019 03:44 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, Ludhiana | ByAmarpal Singh, Ludhiana

The new engine-less and semi-high speed train, Vande Bharat Express, also called ‘Train 18’, which will run from New Delhi to Shri Vaishno Devi Katra (SVDK) is set for its inaugural run on October 3 after its successful trial on Saturday. 

Now, passengers from New Delhi can reach Katra in eight hours, instead of 12 or more, in other trains. Even the people, travelling between the city and New Delhi, can reach the capital in three hours, saving an hour compared to the Shatabdi. 

The train, which completed its trial run successfully, ran as per schedule, reaching the railway station here at 9.19am and departed at 9.21am towards Katra, after a two-minute halt. 

Also read: 40 new Vande Bharat Express trains by 2022

Sudhir Jain, assistant divisional mechanical engineer, Delhi division, said, “The train made a successful run. There were around 15 railway employees from the mechanical department, apart from a pilot and a guard, who were travelling in the train to check its functioning. 

Train will run at 130km/hr 

Station director Tarun Kumar said, “During its speed trial on the Delhi-Kota section, the train touched the mark of 180km/hour, but we have the permission to run the train at a maximum speed of 160km/hour only. However, on the Delhi-Katra route, it will run at a maximum speed of 130km/hr.” 

“To finalise the maximum speed, many factors, including the condition of tracks, barricading along the tracks and the number of deaths on tracks, are considered,” he said, added on the Delhi-Katra route, there is no barricading along the tracks and, considering incidents of stray cattle and human beings crossing the tracks, its speed was decided at 130km/hr. 

He added the train had the fastest acceleration (pick-up) due to the distributed power system. 

16 vestibule coaches with separate disabled-friendly toilets 

The train comprises 16 coaches, including two driver cars, two executive chair car and 12 chair car coaches. All the coaches have separate toilets for physically challenged passengers with automatic lighting door system. 

“All coaches are connected with one another other and provide easy movement for passengers between the coaches. There are distributed pantries for every coach. Besides, the train has vacuum toilets, diffused lighting, hands-free taps, dryers, mobile charging points for every seat and 360 rotatable seats in the executive class,” said the station director. 

He added every coach had LED screens highlighting the next stoppage, train speed and other information. Moreover, CCTV cameras and announcing system are also installed. “Around 15-20 specialised technical staff will be present in the train during the entire journey for dealing with any technical glitch,” he said. 

Don’t enter coaches while seeing off your relatives 

All the doors of coaches are automatically operated and are under the control of the guard. With the train halting for just two minutes, passengers will have very less time to board the train. “So, if you have come to see off a relative, do not enter the coach as doors will close automatically and one will get stuck inside the train,” said the station director. 

The train also does not have a chain pulling system. If any passenger has any problem, he can press a button and the guard will be there to attend him.

Computerised system

As the train has a computerised system and many new functions, the authorities are training all the pilots and guards for operating the train. Station superintendent Ashok Salaria said, “The train pilot and guard will change at the Ludhiana station. Therefore, all train pilots and guards of the Ludhiana station will be also trained to operate this train.” 

A train pilot, Sanjay Singh, who drove the train from New Delhi up to Ludhiana on Saturday, said, “It was a wonderful experience. The train ran smoothly. Although, many functions are similar to those of other express trains, but this train has a good pick-up as well as power brake. Shockers are of good quality and prevent jerk when brake is applied.” 

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