New Delhi: Train 18 — rechristened as Vande Bharat Express — is scheduled to be flagged off by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday. According to the railway officials, PM Modi will launch the new train at 10 AM on February 15 from New Delhi Railway Station.
Train 18 recently became India’s fastest train, hitting a speed of over 180 kmph during a trial run. It would soon start replacing the Shatabdi Express trains and run between Delhi and Varanasi.
For travelling between New Delhi and Varanasi, the passengers will have to shell out 30-40 per cent higher fare than they do for Shatabdi Express, Railway Ministry officials said on Monday.
A New Delhi-Varanasi journey by the indigenously built high-speed train would cost Rs 3,310 and Rs 1,760 for Executive Class (EC) and Chair Car (CC), respectively, inclusive of taxes.
A Railway Ministry official said: “The passengers travelling in the CC from New Delhi to Varanasi, covering a distance of 776 km, will have to shell out Rs 1,760, while for the same distance in the EC, they will have to pay Rs 3,310, including the catering charges.”
The official, however, said that on the train’s return journey, fare from Varanasi to New Delhi for the CC will be Rs 1,700 and the EC ticket would cost Rs 3,260.
He said that CC fares are about 1.4 times the base price of Shatabdi Express trains covering the same distance, while the fares of EC are 1.3 times that of the base fare for First Class air-conditioned seating.
The fares for Delhi-Kanpur journey by Vande Bharat Express has been fixed at Rs 1,090 for CC and Rs 2,105 for EC, and between Delhi and Prayagraj, they would be Rs 1,395 and Rs 2,750, respectively.
He said that between Kanpur and Prayagraj, the fares for CC would be Rs 595 and for EC Rs 1,170.
A journey between Kanpur and Varanasi in CC would cost Rs 1,020 and in EC Rs 1,815.
Passengers travelling from New Delhi to Varanasi in EC would be charged Rs 399 for morning tea, breakfast and lunch, while those opting for CC would need to pay Rs 344 for the same.
Similarly, the passengers travelling from New Delhi to Kanpur and Prayagraj will have to pay Rs 155 and Rs 122 for EC and CC, respectively.
From Varanasi to New Delhi, the passengers would be charged Rs 349 and Rs 288 in the EC and CC, respectively. They will be served evening tea with snacks and dinner.
The official also said that no concession and child fare shall be allowed in this train. “Only full fare adult tickets shall be issued,” he said, adding that the passes of the Members of Parliament and MLAs, other coupons, military/ para-military warrants etc., having full reimbursable fare shall be allowed.
(With agency inputs)