PATNA: If all goes according to plan, the people of Bihar, as well as Kolkata, would have the opportunity to travel by India's fastest Vande Bharat Express, also known as Train-18.
The East Central Railway (ECR), headquartered at Hajipur, about 15 km away from Patna on the northern side of river Ganga, has moved a proposal to the Railway Board of India affirming the feasibility to run the India's first self-propelled fastest 'Vande Bharat' train-18 from Varanasi to Kolkata via Patna.
At present, the Train-18 with all modern facilities for a comfortable journey runs at a maximum speed of 160 kmph between Delhi and Varanasi.
Official sources said the proposal has been prepared and moved following the approval of zone's headquarters by the Danapur division of ECR recently.
The Railway Board has sought proposals from each of the 16 railway zones including the ECR in Bihar with details.
According to a railway source, 10 to 11 new rakes of specially designed and developed coaches for the Vande Bharat Express would be ready by the end of 2019-20 in Chennai under the Make in India programme of Indian Railways.
One rake of train costs the Railways about Rs 98 crore.
"This is an elite class of train. It has two classes-executive and general AC chair car with world class facilities including CCTV camera for safety surveillance, music and other sources of entertainments", an official said, preferring anonymity.
The Railways has virtually started selecting routes to run this train and most probably, the people of Bihar and Kolkata would be able to journey by this train services by next year.