The inaugural trip of India’s first semi-high speed train, Vande Bharat Express, was flagged off by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi at the New Delhi railway station on February 15, 2019.
The train, named ‘Train 18’ at the concept stage, is a plush 16-coach, air-conditioned, self-propelled train set and doesn’t have a locomotive. The express train will run between Delhi and Varanasi, with halts at Kanpur and Allahabad. It will complete the 780-km journey in eight hours, slicing off 180 minutes from the current travel time of 11-and-a-half hours. This is India’s fastest train to date, capable of commercial speeds up to 160 km per hour. On the Delhi-Varanasi route, however, its top speed would be restricted to 130 km per hour.