Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the sixth semi-high speed Vande Bharat train in the country — to be operated on the Bilaspur (Chattisgarh)-Nagpur (Maharashtra) route — on December 11, an Indian Railways official familiar with the matter said on Sunday. According to the official, the train will run six days a week and will complete one leg of the journey in about five-and-a-half hours.
“The Bilaspur- Nagpur Vande Bharat train will be inaugurated on Sunday (December 11) by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Nagpur,” the official said.
“This train will leave Bilaspur at around 6.45 am and reach Nagpur at around 12.15 pm. Similarly, the train will leave Nagpur at 2 pm to reach Bilaspur at 7.35 pm. Currently, superfast trains take around seven hours to reach Nagpur, however, this train will cover the distance in around five-and-a-half hours,” said the official.
According to a second official familiar with the matter, the train will be operated by the Southeast Central Railways (SECR) and will have scheduled stops at Raipur, Durg, and Gondia.
The official also said that another Vande Bharat train is likely to be launched between Secunderabad and Vijayawada in 2023. “This will be the first indigenously-built semi-high-speed rail in South Central Railway (SCR) and second such train in south India,” the official added.
A new-generation Vande Bharat train was first inaugurated on the Mumbai- Ahmedabad route in October this year. The Railways aims to inaugurate 75 Vande Bharat trains by August next year.
All the coaches of the semi-high-speed train are equipped with automatic doors, GPS-based audio-visual passenger information system, onboard hotspot Wi-Fi for entertainment purposes, and comfortable seats.
However, the first Vande Bharat Express train was flagged off on the New Delhi- Kanpur- Allahabad-Varanasi route on February 15, 2019.