The much-touted Vande Bharat express chugged into Mumbai Central’s platform no 5 as scheduled at 7.35 pm on Friday. The train was flagged off at Gandhinagar by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the morning. However, it was halted at Ahmedabad till 2 pm as it was the boarding point on the first day.
This rake, Vande Bharat 2.0, is equipped with state-of-the-art safety features, including an indigenously developed train collision avoidance system. “The train will reach the speed 100 km per hour in 52 seconds and can run at a maximum speed of 180 km per hour. Wi-Fi will be provided at an extra cost,” an official from the Western Railway said.
Many excited passengers decided to book reservations early in the morning. “I often commute by Shatabdi express but the experience in Vande Bharat was amazing. The seating facility was very comfortable,” Mulund resident Vrushita Vora, who is studying in an Ahmedabad college, said.
The seats in the chair car are blue while those in executive class with more leg room are grey.
Vicky Jha, 26, a train enthusiast, said, “I am here with a group of my friends. We were enthusiastic to be part of this inaugural run. The experience was better than that in Tejas express and the staff were very courteous.”
From October 1, the train will begin its regular journey to Gandhinagar and the booking has opened. It will leave Mumbai Central at 6.10 am and arrive at Gandhinagar at 12.30 pm. On the same day, at 2.05 pm, it will depart from Gandhinagar and reach Mumbai Central at 8.35 pm. It will run six days a week, excluding Sunday.
Nimisha Soni, a resident of Ahmedabad, was travelling with her husband and daughter to meet her parents in the city. “The highlight was to be able to comfortably travel despite the high speed. The meals served were delicious and included Gujrat delicacies,” she said.