The Vande Bharat Express has invoked an enthusiastic reaction from train travellers across the country, unlike any other trains in the past. The Indian Railways continues with its aggressive expansion in the last few months and soon, two new routes will be inaugurated in the Western India. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will most likely flag off two new Vande Bharat Express trains on the Mumbai-Solapur and Mumbai-Shirdi routes on February 10. Ahead of the official flag off, the Ghat trials of the semi-high-speed train has started and two trains has reached Mumbai, photos of which have been widely shared in Social Media platforms.
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Recently, the Railway Minister of India, Ashwini Vaishnaw has shared a video on Twitter, in which, a Vande Bharat Express train is seen passing at an incredibly high speed. As per the Minister, the train was on its way to reach Mumbai. “Two soon-to-be-launched Vande Bharat Express trains from Mumbai will undergo trials in the hilly ghat sections on the city’s outskirts without deployment of additional locomotives before their inauguration,” railway officials have said.
The Vande Bharat Express has a top speed of 180 kmph, however, at present, the maximum speed attained during regular operations is 130 kmph due to safety constraints. Indian Railways is working to increase the speed of Vande Bharat trains.
Vande Bharat Express: Mumbai-Solapur Route
The Vande Bharat Express between Mumbai and Solapur is likely to run via the Bhor ghat (located between Karjat and Khandala on way to Pune) and is expected to cover a distance of around 400 km between the two places in 6.35 hours. The nearly 25-km-long Bhor ghat (also called Khandala ghat) is spread between Karjat and Khandala stations.
Vande Bharat Express: Mumbai-Shirdi Route
On the other hand, the Mumbai-Shirdi high-speed train is expected to run via the Thal ghat (in Kasara on Mumbai’s outskirts) and cover a distance of around 340 km between them in 5.25 hours, they said. The 14-km-long Thal ghat (also known as Kasara ghat) is spread between Kasara and Igatpuri sections. Both the ghats have multiple tunnels and high via-ducts.
To do away with bankers in ghat sections, both Vande Bharat Express trains will be fitted with parking brakes, which will stop the train from rolling down on a gradient, the official said. Having a gradient of 1:37 that means for every 37-metre run there is a rise of 1 metre. Both Bhor and Thal ghats are among the toughest railway ghat sections in the county, according to the officials.
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Vande Bharat Express: All Routes
So far, eight Vande Bharat Express trains have been launched on various inter-state routes, including one between Mumbai and Gandhinagar. Vande Bharat Express is an indigenously designed semi-high-speed self-propelled train set of 16 coaches. The train reaches a speed of 160 kmph in just 140 seconds and provides better riding comfort for passengers.
The train has a control management system for monitoring air-conditioning and every coach is fitted with passenger information and infotainment system. Fitted with automatic plug doors with sliding footsteps and touch-free sliding doors inside coaches, the train is equipped with aeroplane-like bio-vacuum toilets. The train is also equipped with ‘kavach’, a train collision avoidance system.