The Mumbai-Gandhinagar Vande Bharat Express seems to have become the first choice of travellers on the route within the first week of operation, with an average occupancy of 110%.
The 16-coach trainset, with a seating capacity of 1,128, has been running at “over 100% occupancy”, an official of the Western Railway said, adding that the clientele using the train is different from that on other trains on the route.
Bajrang Jain |
Bajrang Jain, 50, said, “You can enjoy the ride safely, without tension. There is no need to worry about your luggage and belongings.” Mr Jain boarded the train at Surat. He was also bound for Ahmedabad.
Mrityunjay Kumar |
Mrityunjay Kumar, 42, said, “This train not only gives the feel of luxury travel, but also provides a safe travel environment. There is no need to worry about mobile or chain snatching. We can even enjoy a good nap.”
Quresh Azad |
“With sliding doors, bio-vacuum toilets, wi-fi infotainment, a GPS-based passenger information system, quality food and higher speed, the new train is far superior,” said Quresh Azad, 60, who boarded it from Mumbai Central on Saturday to travel to Ahmedabad.
JK Shah, 45, a Mumbai businessman said the trainset will change the travel experience of Indian railway passengers. “In the last five days itself, I travelled three times by this train. The behavioural change in passengers is noticeable. I didn’t see anyone even throwing small pieces of paper or other rubbish on the floor,” Mr Shah said.
According to Western Railway data, the Mumbai Central-Gandhinagar Vande Bharat Express registered occupancy of 124.30% on Oct 1, followed by 115.58%, 75.95%, 76.66%, 143% and 121.10% on Oct 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7, respectively.
In the return direction (Gandhinagar-Mumbai Central), the trainset recorded 76.40% occupancy on Oct 1, 80.76% on Oct 3, 113.89% on Oct 4, 138.55% on Oct 5, 121% on Oct 6 and 140.69% on Oct 7.
A better version
Change in formation with non-driving trailer coach in the middle for better acceleration/deceleration
Four emergency lights in each coach in case of electrical failure
32” passenger information and infotainment system in every coach instead of earlier 24”
Four emergency windows added in every coach
Finer heat ventilation and air-conditioning control by using higher efficiency compressor with UV lamp for germ-free air supply
Coaches have Level-II safety integration certification for better train control management
Aerosol-based fire detection and suppression system in all electrical cubicles and toilets
Top-class Coach Control Management System to monitor air-conditioning, communication and feedback to control centre / maintenance staff through GSM/GPRS
Superior flood-proofing for under-slung electrical equipment that can withstand floods up to 650mm against 400mm earlier
Driver-guard communication with voice-recording facility
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