School children to get first ride on Vande Bharat
Hyderabad: The eighth semi-high-speed Vande Bharat Express, which will be virtually flagged off by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on January 15 from Secunderabad, will carry several schoolchildren as its first passengers.
The Vande Bharat Express, which will run between Secunderabad and Viskahapatnam, will have 16 compartments with rotating seats and can seat 1,128 passengers.
South Central Railway general manager Arun Kumar Jain stated that each student will be accompanied by one parent and that the lucky ones of the first ride were chosen through a quiz contest held by the railways. The competitions were held for students from Kendriya Vidyalaya, the Railway Mixed High School, Navodaya School, and the Railway Junior College.
Union railway minister Ashwini Vaishnaw and Union tourism minister G. Kishan Reddy will be among those present at the Secunderabad railway station for the inaugural run.
“The students from the city will deboard the train at Kazipet, and another set of students from Kazipet and Warangal will take their place. The idea is to provide an opportunity to students to experience the journey. Once they disembark, we will transport them back to their respective places,” Jain told Deccan Chronicle.
Jain said the commercial operations of the train will begin from January 16, and a notification will be issued enabling passengers to book tickets.
On its regular run, the Vande Bharat Express will leave Secunderabad at 3 pm and reach Visakhapatnam at 11.30 pm. On its return journey, it will leave Viskhapatnam at 5.45 am, and arrive at Secunderabad at 2.15 pm. The train will get a ‘weekend break’ on Sunday’s with operations planned for six days a week.
Jain said the Vande Bharat Express will be the fastest train between the two cities covering the distance in 8.30 hours running at an average speed of 130 km per hour. The next fastest train between Secunderabad and Visakhapatnam, the Duronto Express, takes 11 hours and 10 minutes.
However, on its inaugural run, the train will halt at Cherlapally, Bhongir, Jangaon, Kazipet, Warangal, Mahbubabad, Dornakal, Khammam, Madhira, Kondapally, Vijayawada, Nuziveedu, Eluru, Tadepalligudem, Nidadavolu, Rajahmundry, Dwarapudi, Samalkot, Tuni, Anakapalle, and Duvvada stations enroute.
“We are halting the train at all these stations on its first run so people can see the train. From January 16, when its commercial operations start, it will halt only at Warangal, Khammam, Vijayawada and Rajahmundry,” Jain said.