The Indian Railways has named the indigenously manufactured Train 18 as Vande Bharat Express on Sunday, acknowledging its made-in-India status. Regarded as a successor to the Shatabdi Express, the 16-coach train was built in 18 months at a cost of Rs 97 crore by the Modern Coach Factory, Rae Bareli. It's also the first locomotive-less train in the country.
The train is set to run between Delhi and Varanasi and is driven by a self-propulsion module sans a separate locomotive. It is capable of running at a speed of up to 160 kmph, and comes with technical features for enhanced quick acceleration.
"Train 18 will now be known as Vande Bharat Express. It's a train built completely in India by Indian engineers, in a span of 18 months. It'll ply from Delhi to Varanasi. It is an example that it's possible to make world-class trains under Make in India," said Railway Minister Piyush Goyal in the matter,
The train is likely to be flagged off by Prime Minister Narendra Modi soon. While addressing the rally in Madurai on Sunday, PM Narendra Modi credited the people of Tamil Nadu for the development of the 'first high-speed train T-18'
"The credit for developing the first high speed train T-18, also goes to Tamil Nadu. In times to come, T-18 will provide high speed connectivity across the country," he said.
The fully air-conditioned train will stop at Kanpur and Allahabad and will have two executive chair cars.
"It is completely made in India and various names were suggested by the general public but we have decided to name it Vande Bharat Express. A gift on the occasion of the Republic Day to people," Piyush Goyal added.
(With PTI inputs)