PM Modi launches the Vande Bharat Express via video conferencing

Projects worth more than Rs 7,800 crore in West Bengal are to be launched by the Honourable Prime Minister.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who arrived in his hometown on Friday to attend his mother Heeraben Modi’s last rites, has been participating in West Bengal programs via video conferencing.  

This will be the country’s seventh Vande Bharat express. As per officials, the blue-and-white train, which travels 564 kilometres in 7.45 hours, will save three hours of journey time compared to other trains on the route and will stop at three points: Barsoi, Malda, and Bolpur. Regular passengers, tea industry executives, and tourists traveling to the Himalayas in North Bengal and Sikkim are likely to prefer the Vande Bharat express with modern passenger amenities. The cutting-edge train has 16 coaches, including two for the drivers.

“It’s like a plane,” exclaimed an excited schoolgirl as she walked through the spotless, modern-looking compartment with her classmates out for a joy ride on the Vande Bharat train’s inaugural run between the iconic Howrah station and New Jalpaiguri, the gateway to the North East. Vaishnavi Mane, a Class IX student at Command Hospital Kendriya Vidyalaya, and Tanushree, a Class VIII student, were visibly pleased to be a part of the train’s inaugural run.

The train has an aerodynamically designed engine with a nose that is similar to that of a jetliner. While the brand-new chair cars have the appearance of an airline interior. Anil Kumar, who has been driving trains for 32 years and has driven the Rajdhani and Shatabdi Express, will pilot the inaugural Howrah-New Jalpaiguri run. Kamlesh Kumar, a senior assistant loco pilot with six years of experience, assists him. Five crew members have been trained in Ghaziabad to operate the six-day-a-week Howrah-New Jalpaiguri Vande Bharat Express service.

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