When comparing the speed and comfort offered by the updated version of the train, Modi said, “The (Vande Bharat) train that will link Ahmedabad and Mumbai will decrease the journey time between the two main cities and make travel comfortable.”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Friday as he signalled the departure of the renovated Vande Bharat train from Gandhinagar to Mumbai that the train is 100 times quieter than an aeroplane.
A record 32 kilometres of metro rail were operationalized at once for the first time in the history of metro operations in India, according to Modi, who also officially opened phase 1 of the Ahmedabad Metro on Friday. He credited this to the “double-engine sarkar” of Gujarat and the Center.
PM Modi rode the refurbished Vande Bharat train from Gandhinagar to Kalupur railway station in Ahmedabad on Friday before flagging off both trains at a function there. From there, he rode the metro in Ahmedabad to the Doordarshan tower station in Thaltej, where he took part in the ceremony to officially launch both trains.
“The noise inside an aeroplane is 100 times more than that inside the Vande Bharat train. It is difficult to talk inside an aeroplane. But I was able to easily talk inside the train. There was no noise. It means that if air travellers get to know of the noise feature, I can say for sure that they will opt for the Vande Bharat train instead of aeroplane,” PM Modi told an audience in Ahmedabad where he formally inaugurated both trains.
“The (Vande Bharat) train that will link Ahmedabad and Mumbai will shorten the travel time between the two big cities and make travel comfortable,” Modi said, comparing the speed and comfort provided by the upgraded version of the train.
“An express train takes 7-8.5 hours or more to reach Mumbai from Ahmedabad. Shatabdi train, too, takes between 6-7.5 hours. But Vande Bharat will take a maximum of 5.5 hours to cover the distance between the two cities. Slowly, more progress will be made,” he said.
The Vande Bharat Express will take 5 hours and 45 minutes to go from Ahmedabad to Mumbai Central, according to the IRCTC website. As of now, Tejas, which took 6 hours 25 minutes, was the fastest train between the two cities. Duronto travels in 6 hours and 45 minutes, compared to Shatabdi’s 6 hours and 35 minutes. The prices on Tejas, Shatabdi, and Duronto are dynamic.
The third Vande Bharat train to travel through the nation will be this one. The first two trains, which run between New Delhi and Shri Mata Vaishnodevi Katra and Varanasi and New Delhi, respectively, were introduced in 2019. More people can ride by this train than by other trains, according to PM Modi.
According to PM Modi, who described a conversation at the Varanasi train station, “I was told that the most tickets sold were those of Vande Bharat. I questioned how that was possible, and I was informed that impoverished and labourers prefer to take this train since they can bring more stuff on board, and because it arrives soon, they can use the extra time to make back the cost of the ticket. This is Vande Bharat’s strength, he said.
Between Ahmedabad and Mumbai, a ticket for an air-conditioned chair car on Vande Bharat costs Rs. 1,385, but an equivalent ticket on Gujarat Express (for a 9-hour travel) costs Rs 685.
At the inaugural event, PM Modi emphasised how the Ahmedabad metro project gained momentum after the BJP government came to power in the Centre. “I also want to tell you how Ahmedabad benefited from a double-engine government. When the overhead space over the Ahmedabad-Botad railway line had to be used for the metro project, the Centre quickly gave the permission. This sped up the work on the Vasana-Old High Court route of metro,” PM Modi said.
Later, during a stopover at Abu Road in Rajasthan where loud speakers can’t be used after 10 pm, the Prime Minister briefly addressed a crowd without using a microphone before prostrating thrice before the people.
“I arrived late and it is 10 pm. My aatma (soul) tells me that I should follow the law and rules, hence I apologise to all of you. But I assure you, I will come here again. And I will repay your love with interest,” the PM said.