Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagged off the 11th Vande Bharat train from Bhopal’s Rani Kamlapti railway station to Delhi.
PM Modi began his speech at the flag-off event by expressing condolences over deaths in the Indore temple tragedy.
In a veiled dig at Congress, the PM said previous governments were busy with polarization for the vote bank that they did not get time for the welfare of the people. “Previous governments focused on only one family as the country’s first family and left poor and middle-class on their own. Indian Railways is an example of this… It was not upgraded. Was it right? They could have made railway modern but they sacrificed the development of railways for self-interest," he said.
PM Modi said Indian Railways has become safer and complaints of passengers are addressed immediately.
A roadshow scheduled to welcome and thank the PM was however cancelled due to Thursday’s Indore temple tragedy in which 36 people died, a Bharatiya Janata Party functionary told PTI.
The Bhopal-New Delhi Vande Bharat train is expected to complete the 708km distance in 7.45 hours. Currently, the fastest train between Delhi and Rani Kamlapati Railway Station is the Hazrat Nizamuddin-Secunderabad Duronto Express which takes eight hours and 15 minutes. This train operates only twice a week.
Next in line is Bhopal Shatabdi which completes the journey in 8.40 hours. It operates all days of the week.
The 11th #VandeBharat Express is all set to serve the people of Madhya Pradesh. pic.twitter.com/rKSZbfVjgY— Ministry of Railways (@RailMinIndia) April 1, 2023
According to the PMO, “The new train being introduced between Rani Kamlapati Railway station, Bhopal, and New Delhi railway station will be the eleventh Vande Bharat train in the country. The indigenously designed train set of Vande Bharat Express is equipped with state-of-the-art passenger amenities. It will provide faster, comfortable and convenient travel experience to rail users, boost tourism and promote economic development in the region.
So far, 10 Vande Bharat trains have been inaugurated, including two from Delhi to Varanasi and Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Katra running since 2019.
Upcoming Vande Bharat Trains
While there are no official announcements, a ministry official confirmed to News18 that a number of Vande Bharat trains are in the pipeline
Speaking to News18, a ministry official said the Bhopal-Delhi train will be the fourth Vande Bharat from the national capital and a trial of another train between Delhi and Jaipur is underway. This train is expected to go to Ajmer.
Another Vande Bharat is set to be launched in April. It would be the second train for the Southern Railway. The Chennai-Coimbatore Vande Bharat Express will be the second Vande Bharat from Chennai as well. In November 2022, the Chennai-Mysuru Vande Bharat was launched.
Eight new and improved versions of Vande Bharat trains with enhanced safety features, better ride index and passenger amenities have been introduced in the last couple of months between Mumbai Central-Gandhi Nagar Capital, New Delhi-Amb Andaura, Chennai-Mysore, Bilaspur-Nagpur, Howrah-New Jalpaigudi, Secundrabad-Vishkhapatnam, Mumbai-Sholapur and Mumbai-Shirdi.
Read all the Latest India News here