Northeast Gets Its First Vande Bharat Express
On Monday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi virtually kicked off the inaugural Vande Bharat Express for the northeast. The five-and-a-half-hour rail ride will connect Guwahati in Assam with New Jalpaiguri in West Bengal. Previously, it took the quickest train on the route 6.5 hours to go the almost 400 kilometres.
Vande Bharat express
- India’s first indigenous semi-high-speed train debuted in February 2019. The train can reach a top speed of 160 km/h.
- The Integral Coach Factory (ICF) in Chennai designed and produced it in-house to provide customers with a fresh travel experience with improved facilities and services.
- Upgrading maintenance technologies and processes, improving the productivity and performance of all railway assets and personnel, and improving reliability, availability, utilisation, and efficiency are all objectives.
Vande Bharat 2.0
- Vande Bharat Express’s new avatar will debut in September 2022. It has more advanced features than its predecessor.
- The train can reach a top speed of 180 kilometres per hour. It Weighs 392 tonnes as opposed to 430 tonnes previously.
- The train is equipped with enhanced safety features such as the KAVACH (Train Collision Avoidance System), greater security, and improved fire safety measures.
- Passengers will benefit from improved amenities such as improved riding comfort, larger LCD TVs, a passenger information and communication system, more energy-efficient ACs, side recliner seat capability, bio vacuum toilets with touch-free amenities and wifi content on demand.
- Other improvements include improved heat ventilation and air conditioning control, improved floodproofing, superior traction motor ventilation, and improved acceleration and deceleration.
- Overall, a step towards the Indian Railways’ goal of providing passengers with an efficient, reliable, and comfortable travel experience, and an outstanding example of the success of the ‘Make in India’ programme.
Points to Ponder:
- Vande Bharat Express: The first Vande Bharat Express to travel through the northeast was essentially flagged off by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The train would run between New Jalpaiguri in West Bengal and Guwahati in Assam.
- Reduced travel time: The Vande Bharat Express is anticipated to finish the trip in five and a half hours, which is a substantial improvement over the previous fastest train on the route, which required 6.5 hours to travel the approximately 400 km distance.
- Electrification of railway tracks: The 182 route miles of newly electrified portions in Assam and Meghalaya were dedicated by Mr Modi. The region now has 425 km of electrified railway tracks in total.
- Benefits of electrification: Benefits of electrifying railway tracks include cleaner transportation and the ability to travel at higher speeds, which reduces running times.
- Increased Railway budget: A budget boost for rail transport: The prime minister emphasised the considerable budget increase for rail transport in the northeast. The average budget used to be around 2,500 crore, but in the current year, it has increased by a factor of four to over 10,000 crore.
- Enhanced connectivity: The capitals of Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland, Meghalaya, and Sikkim may now be connected to the rest of the nation thanks to the increased budget. Mr Modi expressed certainty that a wide gauge network will soon connect all northeastern capital cities.
- Strengthening ties: Relationships will be strengthened as a result of the Guwahati-New Jalpaiguri Vande Bharat train, according to Mr Modi. Assam and West Bengal have had close ties for many years.
- Benefits for students and job opportunities: Students will benefit greatly from the greater connectivity provided by the Vande Bharat Express, and additional job opportunities will be created in the tourism and commercial sectors.