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Shorter travel time, rotatable seats: What makes Vande Bharat Express special

Union home minister Amit Shah flagged-off Indian Railways’ Vande Bharat Express, the state-run transporter’s first semi-high speed train, from Delhi to Katra at New Delhi Railway Station on Thursday.

The first commercial run of the Delhi-Katra Vande Bharat Express, also called ‘Train 18’, will be on October 5. Vande Bharat Express will bring down the travel time between Delhi and Katra, the last station on the way to Vaishno Devi temple, to eight hours from the current 12 hours.

The first Vande Bharat Express was flagged off by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in February this year.

Here is what makes the train special:

* The luxury all air-conditioned chair car service comprises 16 coaches, including two driver cars, two executive chair car and 12 chair car coaches.

* All the coaches of the engine-less Vande Bharat Express have separate toilets for disabled passengers with automatic lighting door system.

* They are connected with one another other and provide easy movement for passengers between the coaches. There are distributed pantries for every coach.

* The train has vacuum toilets, diffused lighting, hands-free taps, dryers, mobile charging points for every seat and 360-degree rotatable seats in the executive class.

* Every coach had LED screens highlighting the next stoppage, train speed and other information. Closed-circuit television or CCTV cameras and announcing system have also been installed.

* All the doors of coaches are automatically operated and are under the control of the guard.

* The train does not have a chain pulling system. If any passenger has any problem, they can press a button and the guard will be there to attend him.

* The new train has a bigger pantry compared to the first Train 18 or Vande Bharat Express.

* It also has windows with a special provision to protect against stone-pelting and a cattle guard in the front to prevent damage to the train or derailment in case of cattle run.

* Its use of water-based organic solvents, instead of chemicals, for cleaning purposes also won it the tag of India’s first green train.

* After the successful trial run of the first Train 18 last year, Indian Railways has plans to introduce more such trains. The possible routes include Bengaluru-Hyderabad, Mumbai-Ahmedabad and Kolkata-Patna.