India’s first indigenous semi-high-speed train Vande Bharat Express has finished a year in operation, and it is important to mark this occasion as it stands testimony to the belief and confidence of India building a modern-day transport system for its own use.
A tweet put out by the Northern Railways listed major accomplishments in one year of Vande Bharat Express:
- A year without cancellation of any trip
- Logged 3.8 lakh km
- a cumulative earning of ₹92.29 crore
- 100 per cent occupancy
In a nutshell, Vande Bharat Express is an apex point, reflecting on India’s engineering and manufacturing capabilities.
However, if you jog your memory backwards, you would remember that people in a position to shape the national discourse positively had ridiculed Vande Bharat Express. None other than Wayanad MP and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi back then had made fun of Vande Bharat express and Make in India initiative, apparently because the train had faced a minor technical glitch.
Now, again consider the fact that the Vande Bharat Express service between Delhi to Varanasi has completed a year without cancellation of a single journey.
Train with Modern Facilities
Apart from the fact that Vande Bharat Express is nation’s indigenous semi high speed train manufactured at Integral Coach Factory (ICF), Chennai, the modern facilities it is fitted with also reflects a confident new India that addresses its problems indigenously.
All coaches of Vande Bharat Express are equipped with automatic doors, GPS based audio-visual passenger information system, on-board hotspot Wi-Fi for entertainment purposes, and comfortable passenger seating. All toilets are bio-vacuum type, and the lighting is dual mode, viz. diffused for general illumination and personal for every seat. Vande Bharat Express offers 16 air-conditioned coaches of which 2 are executive class coaches, and the total seating capacity is 1,128 passengers.
In October 2019, Vande Bharat Express also started service between Delhi to Katra that reduced the travel time between two stations from 12 hours to 8 hours, thus bringing relief majorly to large number of visitors who come to partake darshan at the holy cave shrine of Mata Vaishno Devi.
As an Indian, would you not feel proud about this achievement? Or would you berate it and make fun of a reported glitch that too got instantly fixed?