PM Modi To Flag Off India's First Engineless Train, Vande Bharat Express From New Delhi On Feb 15

| February 7 , 2019 , 12:44 IST

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will flag off India's first engineless train Vande Bharat Express on February 15 from the New Delhi Railway station, a senior official of the ministry told PTI Wednesday.

"The prime minister will flag off the train at 10 am on 15 February and there will be a function, in which he will give a speech as well. It's a matter of great pride for us as this is the Railways' first indigenous train," the official said.

Train 18, which was recently named Vande Bharat Express by Railway Minister Piyush Goyal, had been manufactured by the Integral Coach Factory, Chennai.

The train has 16 passenger cars, with a seating capacity of 1,128 passengers. Two of the center compartments are first class compartments that seat 52 each, with the rest being coach compartments seating 78 each.

The train's seats, braking system, doors, and transformers are the only elements of the train to be outsourced, with plans to make them domestically on the production of the next unit. Train 18 employs a regenerative braking system.

Another unit is planned for production over the next year, along with four more units in the following year, for a total of six. The Railway Board has requested that ICF complete two of the new units by May 2019.

Two of those units will incorporate sleeper cars into the layout. Indian Railways and ICF are also planning the development of Train 20, another semi-high speed train that will replace the Rajdhani Express. The line is supposed to be unveiled in 2020

At an operating speed of 160 kilometers per hour (99 mph), it will outpace the Shatabdi Express by 30 kilometers per hour (19 mph).

It will be running on the Delhi-Varanasi route, via Kanpur and Prayagraj, connecting the Prime minister's Lok Sabha seat to the Capital city, reducing travel time along the route by 15 percent, or even more once the tracks are properly fitted for the unit.

The train's regenerative brakes are also expected to allow a 30% savings in electricity costs as compared to its predecessor.