NEW DELHI (Metro Rail News): Vande Bharat Express Katra launch date announced. Railway Minister Piyush Goyal has announced the launch date of the Delhi-Katra Vande Bharat Express on his social media handles. The all-new engine-less Vande Bharat Express or Train 18 will be flagged off by Home Minister Amit Shah during Navratras on October 3.
The new Vande Bharat Express will cut down the travel time between New Delhi and Katra to just 8 hours, from the current 12 hours. The train will come as a big boon for Mata Vaishno Devi pilgrims, ensuring smoother and more luxurious travel and also eliminating the need for an overnight journey.
The new Vande Bharat Express will depart from New Delhi railway station in the morning at 6:00 AM to reach Katra at 2:00 PM while stopping at Ludhiana, Ambala Cantt and Jammu Tawi are en route.
On the same day, the Vande Bharat train will leave from Katra at 3:00 PM to reach the New Delhi Railway station at 11:00 PM. It will stop at the same stations on the return journey.
IRCTC is planning to offer combo meals at par with the Delhi-Varanasi Vande Bharat Express, but with more vegetarian options. The all-new AC chair car service has automatic doors with sliding footsteps, fully sealed gangways, a pantry bigger than Shatabdi Express, modular bio-toilets, on-board infotainment screens, European-style seats, and aircraft-like LED lighting for passengers’ comfort.
Indian Railways is planning to manufacture 40 more Vande Bharat Express-style train set by March 2022. The new trainsets will consume less electricity compared to the first two Vande Bharat Express trains. According to railway officials, the new trainsets will also be manufactured with Rajdhani Express-style sleeper classes for overnight journeys.