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Vande Bharat: After 2 Months of Dry Spell, 9 Trains to Hit the Track Soon; Poll-Bound Rajasthan & MP on List – News18

Two months ago, on July 7, two Vande Bharat trains were flagged off. Since then, no new Vande Bharat trains have been introduced. However, at least nine trains have left the Integral Coach Factory in Chennai, where these Vande Bharat Express are manufactured, a Railways Ministry document seen by News18 shows.

According to the data accessed by News18, of these nine trains, the highest (three) have been allocated to the Southern Railways. An equal number of Vande Bharat trains are already operational in the zone.

The Western Railway, with headquarters in Mumbai, has got one more Vande Bharat from the new lot. Further, one new Vande Bhart has been allocated to North Western, South Central, East Coast Railway and East Central each. Another train has been kept with the ministry and is yet to be allotted to any zone. Sources said poll-bound Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan are on the list and likely to get the new train.

As of date, 25 Vande Bharat trains are running, with the highest four in the Northern Zone. Next are Southern and Central zones with three trains each, followed by Western, West Central and North Western Railway with two Vande Bhart each. Rest nine zones โ€” South East Central, Eastern, East Coast, South Central, South Eastern, Northeast Frontier, East Central, South Western and North Eastern Railway โ€” have one Vande Bharat each.

Of the three Vande Bharat trains for the Southern zone, one was issued on July 17, another on July 31 and the third was issued on August 18.

โ€œThese (nine) are all eight coach trains,โ€ officials aware of the matter told News18.

While noting that the dates of launch of these trains are not yet finalised, the officials said the ministry is expecting a big event and may launch a number of trains together.

Tentative routes

While the ministry is yet to announce the routes, sources have said two of these trains could be from Jaipur โ€” Jaipur-Indore, and Jaipur-Udaipur. The official aware of the matter also said the Jaipur-Indore Vande Bharat will pass through Neemuch.

In the last two days, Union Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw has visited Udaipur and Neemuch railway stations.

Poll-bound Rajasthan got its first Vande Bharat in April (Ajmer-Delhi) and later, in July, it got another train (Jodhpur-Sabarmati). Another poll-bound state, Madhya Pradesh, will also get a fresh train. Madhya Pradesh, which is also going for polls later this year, got its first Vande Bharat in April.

The one train allocated to the East Coast Railway is likely to run in Odishaโ€™s Puri and Rourkela. Vaishnaw, during the inauguration of first Vande Bharat for Odisha, had told News18 that soon a train will be flagged off for Rourkela. Odisha is going for polls in early 2024.

One of these trains, assigned to the East Central Railways, could cater to the Patna-Howrah route. Officials aware of the matter said the trial on this route has been conducted with stoppages at Jamtara and Asansol.

The route of four Vande Bharat, including three assigned to Southern Railways is yet to be finalised, the official added.

Of the 25 Vande Bharat trains operational, six are from Delhi for Dehradun, Ajmer, Varanasi, Katra, Bhopal, and Amb Andaura. There are five trains for Maharashtra, with four operational from Mumbai โ€” for Gandhinagar, Shirdi, Sholapur, and Madgoan. And one between Nagpur and Bilapsur.

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