Prime Minister Narendra Modi will flag off the inaugural run of the Goa-Mumbai Vande Bharat Express on Saturday, senior railway officials have confirmed.
The semi high-speed Vande Bharat Express will reduce travel time between Mumbai and Goa by an hour. Currently, the Tejas Express takes 8 hours and 50 minutes to cover the distance from Mumbai to Madgaon in Goa.
The regular service of the Mumbai-Goa train is expected to start from next week. It will run six days a week except on Friday, railway officials said.
According to Press Trust of India report, the Vande Bharat train on the Mumbai-Goa route, to be flagged off virtually by PM Modi, will have eight coaches instead of the usual 16. The train is likely to halt at Dadar, Thane, Panvel, Roha, Khed, Ratnagiri, Kankavali and Thivim.
Vande Bharat fares are likely to be higher than the Tejas Express on which an AC chair car ticket for Mumbai-Goa costs Rs 1,555 while an executive chair car ticket is priced at Rs 3,080, according to the IRCTC website.
The Vande Bharat Express trains, driven by the ‘Make In India’ campaign of the Prime Minister, are speeding up and modernising travel in the country. The initiative of manufacturing the trains has been taken up by the country’s Integral Coach Factory (ICF).
The Goa Mumbai Vande Bharat will be the 19th semi-high speed Vande Bharat train in the country and the fifth for Maharashtra. The train will be followed up with a second Vande Bharat Express for Karnataka next month which will connect Bengaluru with the twin cities of Hubballi and Dharwad. The semi high-speed train will reduce the travel time between the two destinations to 5 hours from 7 hours at present.
Vande Bharat Express runs as a self-propelled semi high-speed train set. It has an aerodynamic design on both ends, which significantly reduces air drag and gives the train a futuristic look.