BENGALURU: After boarding a bus, walking some distance, using the Metro, and two autos and scaling the compound wall of Cantonment railway station, MTech student BM Manoj managed to board the inaugural Vande Bharat train with his pair of jeans torn. Yet, he and his two friends were overjoyed that they made it to the maiden train which departed at 10.31 am to Chennai from Bengaluru.
Over 300 passengers boarded at many stations in Bengaluru. Manoj said, “I reached KSR Bengaluru station at 9 am. I was told that on account of the PM’s visit, I can board the train at Cantonment. My friends were waiting for me and I hired an auto and the driver demanded Rs 200. At KR Circle, he said it was not possible to go further as roads were blocked. We walked through Cubbon Park.
We took the Metro at Vidhana Soudha to Cubbon Park. Again we had to board an auto to Cantonment station and paid Rs 100. As we neared the station, we could see the train on Platform No. 2. We scaled the 5 ft wall and rushed. All doors were shut, but were reopened after we requested officials,” he said.
They were a part of an 11-member group, said Ganesh TK, a techie. “All of us were keen on the Vande Bharat train. We left from Cubbonpet to KSR in four autos. As the station was blocked, we hired four autos and reached Cantonment station.”
Teething troubles for sliding doors:
The teething problems for the new train presented itself in the form of malfunctioning automatic sliding doors. At Vaniyambadi stn, doors only at C7 coach were working and those who wanted to exit the train at different stations had to go to that coach. At the next station Ambur, doors in C6, C10 and one of the executive coaches did not work. A mechanic got busy trying to open the doors
The 16-coach train is a fully air-conditioned one. The fare will be Rs 1200 for the chair car ticket from Chennai to Mysuru (in 14 coaches) and Rs 2295 a ticket in each of the two Executive coaches. In the reverse direction, the fare will be Rs 1365 from Mys to Chennai for chair car and Rs 2485 for Executive coach. KSR to Mysuru will be Rs 515 (cc) and Rs 985 (EC) while in the reverse direction from Mysuru to KSR it will be Rs 720 (CC) and Rs 1215 (EC).
This being the inaugural train, it stopped at every minor station enroute and finally reached Chennai Central at 7.05 on, after 8 hrs and 45 nibs. Commercial operations are being launched on Saturday (Nov 12) and the train with 1128 seats is fully booked. It will head from Mysuru to Puratchi Thalaivar Dr MGR Chennai Central with stoppages only at KSR Bengaluru and Katpadi.
The same holds true in the return direction. It goes from 0 to 100 kmph in just 52 secs . At present it is faster than the Shatabdi by just 20 minutes as the tracks here do not permit the speed of 160 kmph for which it has been certified, said a top official. It runs at a max speed of 110 kmph presently and after tracks, particularly those between Bengaluru and Mysuru are improved, will run much faster.
Unique features of train:
*Equipped with Kavach (anti-collision system). However, the railway tracks with which it the system has to be integrated still does not have the system and will happen in future.
*Principal Chief Mechanical Engineer, SWR, Subbu Rao, said that power to run the train is provided in six coaches, thereby giving it the push and speed.. It is present only in the two locos in the traditional trains. A total of 11,840 Kilo Watts power is available to power the trains.
*Revolving chairs in Executive class to have a full view through glass windows.
*Bio-vacuum toilets as in the case of flights
*No alarm pulling system. Instead, a speaker facility whereby one can speak with the Loco Pilot or Train Manager during an emergency
*The fare specified includes catering by Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation. There are train hostesses on the lines of air hostesses. Hot food supplied as there are four hot cases and two bottle cooler cases in each coach.
*Braille signage provided throughout..
*All loco related equipments are fixed under the trains.
*Modular luggage rack with glass bottom.
*It is India's indigenous semi hi-speed train.