Una: Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagged off the inaugural run of the new Vande Bharat Express from Amb Andaura, Una to New Delhi, today.

It is the first high-speed luxury train to start from Himachal.

The Prime Minister inspected the train coaches of the Vande Bharat Express and took stock of the onboard facilities. PM Modi also inspected the control centre of the locomotive engine of Vande Bharat Express. He also inspected Una railway station.

The Prime Minister was accompanied by Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur, Governor Rajendra Vishwanath Arlekar, Union Minister of Railways, Ashvini Vaishnaw and Union Minister Anurag Singh Thakur when he arrived at Amb Andaura Railway Station in the Una district of Himachal Pradesh.

The introduction of the train will help boost tourism in the region and provide a comfortable and faster mode of travel. The travel time from Una to New Delhi will be reduced by two hours. Running from Amb Andaura to New Delhi, it will be the fourth Vande Bharat train to be introduced in the country. It is an advanced version compared to the earlier ones, being much lighter and capable of reaching higher speeds in a shorter duration.

Vande Bharat 2.0 is equipped with advanced features such as reaching a speed of 0 to 100 kilometres per hour in just 52 seconds, and a maximum speed of up to 180 kilometres per hour. The improved Vande Bharat Express will weigh 392 tons compared to the previous version of 430 tons. It will also have a Wi-Fi content on-demand facility. Every coach has 32” screens providing passenger information and infotainment compared to 24” in the previous version.

Vande Bharat Express will also be environmentally friendly as the ACs will be 15 per cent more energy efficient. With dust-free clean air cooling of the traction motor, travel will become more comfortable. A side recliner seat facility provided only to Executive Class passengers earlier will now be made available for all classes. Executive Coaches have the added feature of 180-degree rotating seats

In the new design of Vande Bharat Express, a photo-catalytic ultraviolet air purification system is installed in the Roof-Mounted Package Unit (RMPU) for air purification.  As recommended by Central Scientific Instruments Organisation (CSIO), Chandigarh, this system is designed and installed on both ends of RMPU to filter and clean the air free from germs, bacteria, viruses etc. coming through fresh air and return air.

The Vande Bharat Express 2.0 offers a myriad of superior and aircraft-like travelling experiences. It is equipped with advanced state-of-the-art safety features including an indigenously developed Train Collision Avoidance System – KAVACH.

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Rahul Bhandari is Editor of TheNewsHimachal and has been part of the digital world for last 15 years.