Palakkad: The Vande Bharat Express rake allotted to Kerala has started its journey from Chennai to Thiruvananthapuram Central. The train left Chennai at 3 pm and is expected to reach Thiruvananthapuram on Thursday morning.
The general manager of Southern Railway tweeted at 4.50 pm on Wednesday: “Catch a glimpse of the dashing new livery of Vande Bharat Express as it traverses from Chennai to Thiruvananthapuram” and shared a photograph of the rake passing Korattur a neighbourhood in the western part of Chennai about 12 km away from the Puratchi Thalaivar Dr MG Ramachandran Central Railway Station.
Sources said the train will have a trial run from Thiruvananthapuram to Kasaragod before it is flagged off by Prime Minister Narendra Modi through video conference on Sunday morning.
Palakkad railway division public relations officer B Devadanam told Onmanorama that the train will stop for two minutes at Palakkad Junction on Wednesday at 9 pm as per the current plans. It will possibly have a crew change at Palakkad Junction and the train will directly go to Thiruvananthapuram.
Though the train will be flagged off on Sunday, the regular service will begin only on Tuesday. The Express will leave from Kasaragod at 7 am and reach Thiruvananthapuram Central at 3.05 pm. The train will begin its return journey at 4.05 pm to reach Kasaragod at 11.55 pm.
The services will be operated six days a week and a day will be marked for maintenance and inspection, according to official sources.
The Kasaragod-Thiruvananthapuram service will be excluded on Monday. Similarly, the Thiruvananthapuram-Kasaragod service will not be operated on Tuesday so as to carry out the maintenance and inspection works.
The Indian Coach Factory (ICF), Chennai authorities conducted a trial run of the eight-coach rake allotted to Palakkad division before beginning its journey from Chennai.
The revamped eight-car train will have a striking orange exterior with key improvements such as increased seat reclining angle, superior seat cushions, enhanced accessibility to mobile charging points, extended footrests in Executive chair car class coaches, and deeper wash basins to prevent water splashes.
The added amenities include Emergency openable windows and fire extinguisher in each coach, CCTVs in all coaches, emergency alarm push buttons and talk-back units on all coaches, aerosol-based fire detection and suppression system, driver-guard communication with voice recording facility and crash hardened memory, coach condition monitoring system (CCMS) display with remote monitoring, four disaster lights in each coach in case of emergency and four platform side cameras including rear view cameras outside the coach.