Train 18 launch: PM Modi inaugurates Vande Bharat Express, India's fastest train
Train 18 Vande Bharat Express inauguration: Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated India's first semi-high speed train.
PM Modi launched India's first semi-high speed train on Friday. The express, initially called Train 18, which was rechristened to Vande Bharat Express will run between Delhi and Varanasi. Along with the finest amenities, Vande Bharat Express has also partnered with restaurant chain Pind Balluchi and The Landmark Hotel for onboard meals. The Varanasi-bound Delhi train tickets are priced at Rs 1,760 for the chair car and to Rs 3,310 for the executive class, an order by the Railways said. As for the return journey, a CC ticket would cost Rs 1,700 and Rs 3,260 for EC, as per the order.
Follow the LIVE updates on the inauguration of the Train 18/Vande Bharat Express:
12:40pm: Bookings for Train 18 has begun and its commercial operations will begin from February 17. It will run five days a week between Delhi and Varanasi.
12:35 pm: During his inspection, PM Modi said that he is proud that such a train has been produced in India. Vande Bharat Express was manufactured at the Integral Coach Factory in Chennai.
12:05 pm: PM Modi said that the Indian Railways has hired 1.2 lakh people in four years. The number will reach 2.5 lakh by the end of this next year.
11:53 am: "A grateful nation bows to the martyrs of Pulwama. A befitting reply will be given to the perpetrators of the heinous attack and their patrons. No force will succeed in disturbing peace, progress and stability of India," said PM Modi.
11:48 am: Train 18 fact - Vande Bharat Express has 16 coaches and will run on a speed of 160 kmph from Delhi to Varanasi. It will cover the journey in 8 hours.
11:46 am: Train 18 fact - The eventual prices were decreased after officials received feedback that the fare was too steep .
11:44 am: Train 18 fact - Vande Bharat Express touched a speed of 200-210 kmph during its trial run.
11:30 am: PM Modi flags off Vande Bharat Express.
11:17 am: Visuals from the event.
11:16 am: The Prime Minister also observed two minutes of silence as a tribute to the fallen soldiers at Pulwama.
11:15 am: We have worked hard to change the Indian Railways in last four years and Train 18 is one of its example: PM Modi
11:14 am: PM Modi also took the occassion to speak about the Pulwama attack on CRPF jawans. "I thank all the nations who have supported us and condemned this incident in the strongest of terms. A strong reply will be given to this attack," he said.
11:14 am: PM Narendra Modi: If our neighbour which is totally isolated in the world thinks it can destabilise India through its tactics and conspiracies, then it is making a big mistake.