Ramping up production of Vande Bharat trains, the Railways would roll out the seventh semi-high speed trainset between Howrah and New Jalpaiguri on 30 December.
With this, the Integral Coach Factory (ICF) has managed to manufacture two Vande Bharat trains in a month. The sixth Vande Bharat train was launched between Nagpur and Bilaspur on 13 December this year.
According to the Railways, there would be at least two Vande Bharat trains now every month.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to flag off the premier service, the first Vande Bharat train in eastern India on 30 December as the Prime Minister is slated to visit Kolkata for a meeting of the National Ganga Council that day.
However, the Railways maintains that all details including stoppages and timings are being finalised.
The launching of Vande Bharat train in West Bengal is a step towards providing faster connection between state capital Kolkata and northern Bengal.
The indigenously built semi-high speed train is expected to be faster than the current Shatabdi Express between these two stations that takes over eight hours for the 550-km-long run.
It will be the seventh Vande Bharat Express overall since the semi-high-speed train was launched in 2019, and the first in eastern India. Facilities for parking and maintenance are being given finishing touches at Howrah, the railway station with the highest number of platforms in India.
According to sources, the eighth Vande Bharat train is likely to be flagged off in Karnataka and in the coming months more of these will be operated across other states.
The first Vande Bharat train was launched in 2019. Currently, the six routes on which these trains run include Delhi-Varanasi, Delhi-Amb/Una (Himachal Pradesh), Delhi-Katra, Chennai-Mysore, Mumbai-Gandhinagar and Bilaspur-Nagpur.
Arun Kumar Das is a senior journalist covering railways. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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