Rashmi Ranjan

Odisha got its first semi-high-speed train on Puri-Howrah route after Vande Bharat Express hit the tracks on Thursday.

Flagged off by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Odisha’s first Vande Bharat Express connecting Puri and Howrah will cover 500 km distance in around 6.5 hours. 

The Vande Bharat Express will run six days a week except Thursdays. It will start from Howrah at 6.10 am and reach Puri at 12.35 pm. In the return direction, it will leave Puri at 1.50 pm and arrive at Howrah at 8.30 pm.

The train, with 16 coaches, will stop at Kharagpur, Balasore, Bhadrak, Jajpur Keonjhar Road, Cuttack, Bhubaneswar, and Khordha Road.

Here are the features and amenities in Vande Bharat Express

  • All coaches are equipped with automatic doors; GPS-based audio-visual passenger information system, onboard hotspot Wi-Fi for entertainment purposes, and very comfortable seating. The executive class also has rotating chairs.
  • All toilets are bio-vacuum type. The lighting is dual mode, viz. diffused for general illumination and personal for every seat. 
  • Every coach has a pantry with facilities to serve hot meals, hot and cold beverages. The insulation is meant to keep heat and noise to very low levels for additional passenger comfort. 
  • The Vande Bharat Express has 16 air-conditioned coaches of which two are executive class coaches. The total seating capacity is 1,128 passengers. It is much more than the conventional Shatabdi rake of equal number of coaches, thanks to the shifting of all electric equipment below the coaches and seats in the driving coach also. 
  • It also has provision for Divyang-friendly facilities. 
  • Adding up the green footprints, the train has a regenerative braking system in the Vande Bharat Express coaches which can save up to 30% of electrical energy. 
  • The Vande Bharat Express train has an intelligent braking system that enables better acceleration and deceleration.
  • The Vande Bharat Express train has fully sealed gangways and censored interconnecting doors for a dust-free environment. 
  • A fire survival cable indoor circuit will also be available on the train. There will also be an improved air conditioning system.