Designed For 180 Kmph, Vande Bharat Trains Running At Average Speed Of 83 Kmph: RTI Reply


Vande Bharat Express, which is India’s first semi-high speed train has been running at an average speed of much lower than 100 kilometre per hour (kmph).

According to the Railway Ministry’s response to a Right to Information (RTI) query from Madhya Pradesh resident Chandrashekhar Gaur, the train has been running at an average speed of around 83 kmph for the last two years.

During this period, the train also ran at an average speed of 95 kmph on one route.

It should be noted that the Vande Bharat 2.0 which is currently being rolled out has a maximum speed of up to 180 kilometres per hour and the permissible maximum speed for commercial services is 130 kmph.

The data revealed that the average speed of Vande Bharat trains in India was 84.48 kmph in 2021–22, which decreased to 81.38 kmph in 2022–23.

The Ministry said that the poor conditions of the railway tracks was the cause for the slow speed of the train, with trains unable to hit the permissible speed limit over most stretches in the network.

At present, 14 Vande Bharat trains are in service. Five trains are running from Delhi to Varanasi, Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Katra, Bhopal, Amb Andaura and Jaipur. Three are running from Mumbai to Gandhinagar, Sainagar Shirdi and Solapur.

Vande Bharat trains are also operational between Chennai-Mysuru, Chennai-Coimbatore, Bilaspur-Nagpur, Howrah-New Jalpaiguri, Secunderabad-Visakhapatnam and Secunderabad-Tirupati.

According to the RTI reply, the highest average speed of the Vande Bharat train during this period was 95 kmph, attained by the country’s first Vande Bharat Express train, the New Delhi-Varanasi Vande Bharat Express, which was launched in 2019.

The RTI further revealed that the Rani Kamalapati (Habibganj)-Hazrat Nizamuddin Vande Bharat Express comes in a close second, maintaining an average speed of 94 kmph.

The Mumbai CSMT-Sainagar Shirdi Vande Bharat Express has the lowest average speed of just 64 kmph.

Even though Vande Bharat trains are running at a much slower speed than stipulated, the Railway officials said that the average speed of Vande Bharat Express train is better than Rajdhani and Shatabdi Express trains due to their faster acceleration/deceleration.

“It has to be understood that no mode of transport can maintain maximum speed throughout its journey. The condition of the surface it is running on is a big factor. The average speed of Vande Bharat train in each section is more than the fastest train running in that section. For example, it runs at a maximum permissible speed of 160 kmph between Agra Cantt and Tughlakabad,” a Railway official said.

Officials said while these trains are built to run at high speed, the rail network is also being upgraded so that Vande Bharat-like trains can attain higher speeds in the future.