Vande Bharat Express : ‘It’s like a plane’


Team Udayavani, Dec 30, 2022, 12:22 PM IST

Image Credit: ANI

Kolkata: “It’s like a plane,” exclaimed a school girl as she walked through the spotless, modern-looking compartment along with her school mates out for a joy ride on the inaugural run of the Vande Bharat train, which will run between the iconic Howrah station and New Jalpaiguri, the gateway to the North East.

Vaishnavi Mane, a Class IX student of Command Hospital Kendriya Vidyalaya, and Tanushree of Class VIII, were visibly happy to be part of the first run of the train.

The train has an aerodynamically designed engine whose nose does compare loosely with a jet-liner’s nose. While the spanking new chair cars give the look of an airline interior.

Soham Mukherjee, a class XI student from Fort William, also on the train, excitedly said “it feels marvelous to ride this train”.

The inaugural run of the Howrah-New Jalpaiguri is being piloted by Anil Kumar, who has been running trains for some 32 years, having driven among others, the Rajdhani and Shatabdi Express, an official said.

He is assisted by senior assistant loco pilot Kamlesh Kumar, who has been on the job for six years, the railway official said.

Five sets of the crew have been trained at Ghaziabad to run the six-day-a-week Howrah-New Jalpaiguri Vande Bharat Express service.

Jalpaiguri MP Jayanta Roy, who appeared no less excited, said that with the semi-high speed Vande Bharat service, a new era in connectivity starts in Bengal.

“It’s a huge leap forward for the state and will boost tourism in North Bengal,” the BJP MP told PTI.

He said that developing the NJP station into a world-class one will also bolster connectivity in North Bengal, which boasts of the Himalayas, the forests, and tea gardens.

This will be the seventh Vande Bharat express running in the country.

The blue-and-white train, which covers a distance of 564 km in 7.45 hours, will save three hours of travel time compared to other trains on the route, officials said. It will have three stoppages at Barsoi, Malda and Bolpur.

The Vande Bharat express with modern passenger amenities is likely to be preferred both by regular passengers, tea industry executives, and tourists travelling to the Himalayas in North Bengal and Sikkim.

The state-of-the-art train has 16 coaches, including two for drivers.

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