Prime Minister Narendra Modi is all set to flag off nine Vande Bharat Express trains on Sunday, September 24th, according to ministry officials. Among these nine trains, the Indian Railways is launching two trains for West Bengal’s Howrah and Tamil Nadu’s Chennai, with one each for Kerala, Odisha, Telangana, Gujarat, and the poll-bound state of Rajasthan. These semi-high-speed trains are configured with eight coaches and are expected to offer a significant boost to the country’s rail connectivity.
Nine New Routes to Enhance Connectivity
The nine new routes that will be inaugurated on Sunday are as follows:
Inaugural Journey of Tirunelveli-Chennai Vande Bharat Express
Among the new routes, the Tirunelveli-Chennai Vande Bharat Express is noteworthy. The inaugural journey of this route will depart from Tirunelveli Junction at 6 am, arriving in Chennai around 1:50 pm. The return journey will begin at 2:50 pm on all days except Tuesdays.
With the locomotive operating at an average speed of 83.30 km/h and halting at Virudhunagar, Madurai, Dindigul, and Tiruchi. This marks Tamil Nadu’s third Vande Bharat route, following the launch of Chennai-Mysuru Vande Bharat Express in November last year and subsequently the Chennai-Coimbatore Vande Bharat train.
Odisha’s Second Vande Bharat Express for Puri-Rourkela Route
Odisha is also getting its second Vande Bharat Express on the Puri-Rourkela route. The full trial run of this train was conducted recently, and it will connect the coastal districts of the state to its western region. The semi-high-speed train is expected to cover the distance of 505 km in 7 hours and 30 minutes from Puri to Rourkela and 7 hours and 45 minutes on the return journey from Rourkela to Puri.
The Vande Bharat train connecting Bengaluru and Hyderabad will bridge the two tech cities, covering the 610 km distance in approximately 8.5 hours. The tentative schedule for this route includes a departure from Kacheguda in Hyderabad at 5:30 am, arriving at Yeshwantpur at around 2 pm. The return journey is scheduled to depart at 2:45 pm, reaching Kacheguda by 11:15 pm. The train is likely to have five stops along the way, including Mahabubnagar, Kurnool City, Anantapur, Dhone, and Dharmavaram.
The Vande Bharat Express connecting Vijayawada and Chennai is expected to cover the distance between the two cities in 6 hours and 40 minutes, providing a quicker and more convenient travel option for passengers.
Expanding Vande Bharat Network
The expansion of the Vande Bharat Express network is a significant step in enhancing rail connectivity across the country. These trains are known for their indigenous manufacturing, semi-high-speed capabilities, and state-of-the-art passenger amenities. Passengers can expect a faster, more comfortable, and convenient travel experience.
Impressive Passenger Numbers and Revenue
In a recent press release by Central Railway, it was revealed that the total number of passengers who traveled on Vande Bharat trains in the Central Railway region from August 15th to September 8th reached 1.22 lakh. During this period, the Railways earned a total revenue of 10.72 crores from these services.
The occupancy rates for various Vande Bharat Express trains on the Central Railway network vary, with the Bilaspur-Nagpur Express having the highest occupancy rate at 122.56 percent and the GOA Madgaon-CSMT Express recording the lowest occupancy rate at 75.50 percent. Other routes such as Nagpur-Bilaspur Express, CSMT Shirdi Express, Shirdi-CSMT Express, CSMT Solapur Express, Solapur CSMT Express, and Madgaon Express also reported impressive occupancy rates.
Vande Bharat Express Network Expansion
The expansion of the Vande Bharat Express network and the positive response from passengers indicate the growing popularity and success of these high-speed trains in enhancing India’s rail transportation infrastructure. As more routes are added, passengers can look forward to even greater connectivity and convenience in the future.