West Bengal: Prime Minister Flags Off The Seventh Vande Bharat Express

  • The Vande Bharat Express between Howrah-New Jalpaiguri, with enhanced safety features and passenger amenities, is the first for West Bengal and seventh high-speed train in India.

Dedicating to the nation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today (30 December) flagged off the seventh Vande Bharat train.

Vande Bharat train launch date on 30 December is significant as Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose hoisted the tricolour, on the same day, in Andaman in 1943, Prime Minister Modi said, while launching the train virtually.

The premium train will operate between Howrah-New Jalpaiguri (NJP) which will be West Bengal’s and east India’s first Vande Bharat Express.

The distance between Howrah to New Jalpaiguri is 560 km and the Vande Bharat Express is likely to cover the distance within eight hours.

With the new projects launching, West Bengal will have better connectivity and infrastructure facilities, Prime Minister Modi said.

The Vande Bharat Express will be the second premium train service between Howrah and NJP after the Shatabdi Express which already runs between these two places.

The train will depart from Howrah to reach NJP in the afternoon, according to the initial reports, whereas the Shatabdi Express leaves Howrah for NJP in the afternoon to reach at night.

“I was supposed to come to West Bengal but due to personal reasons, I could not come there. I seek apologies from the people of Bengal,” the Prime Minister said, while launching the railway projects in Bengal.

The train will leave the Howrah Station at 6am and reach New Jalpaiguri Station at 1.30pm, and after a one-hour stopover, it will depart from the north Bengal station at 2.30pm and arrive at Howrah at 10pm.

The Vande Bharat Express will have lesser stoppages compared to the Shatabdi Express which halts at five places — Bolpur Shantiniketan, New Farraka Jn, Malda Town, Barsoi Junction, Kishanganj before terminating at NJP.

However the Vande Bharat Express is likely to stop only at Bolpur, Malda enroute to NJP. The Shatabdi Express operates six days a week except on Sunday and the Vande Bharat is also expected to operate six days a week on the Howrah-NJP route.

Fare of Howrah-NJP Shatabdi Express

According to IRCTC data, the fare of chair car on the Howrah-New Jalpaiguri Shatabdi Express is ₹1,650. On the other hand, the fare of the executive class of Shatabdi Express is ₹2,500.

The fare of the Vande Bharat Express, although not officially out, is expected to be costlier than the fare of the Howrah-NJP Shatabdi Express.

Features Of Howrah-NJP Vande Bharat Express

It is a world-class train with modern facilities. Some of the salient features of this train are:

  • Equipped with the KAVACH (Train Collision Avoidance System) for enhanced safety in operations.
  • Improved safety with four emergency windows in every coach. There are four platform side cameras including rear view cameras outside the coach.
  • Better fire safety measures with aerosol based fire detection and suppression system in all electrical cubicles and toilets.
  • Superior flood proofing for under-slung electrical equipment to withstand floods up to 650 mm height. The train will also have four emergency lights in every coach in case of electric failure.
  • Enhanced riding comfort for passengers at 3.2 riding index. It is also equipped with 32 inch LCD TVs, and a passenger information and communication system in the train.
  • Side recliner seat facility is made available for all classes. The Executive Coaches have the added feature of 180-degree rotating seats.
  • Bio vacuum toilets with touch free amenities and Wi-Fi content on demand.
  • Finer heat ventilation and air conditioning control through higher efficiency compressor, with ultra-violet (UV) lamp for germ-free supply of air.
  • The train’s time to reach 160 kmph is just 140 seconds. There will be driver guard communication with a voice recording facility.
  • Two signal exchange lights on the coaches for exchange of signals with the way side stations.