Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday morning flagged off south India’s first Vande Bharat (VB) Express train from KSR Bengaluru City railway station to Chennai Central. The train will connect Mysuru, Bengaluru and Chennai. The train departed from KSR Bengaluru around 10.10 am from Platform 7.
VB Express services for the public will commence Saturday and it will run six days a week, barring Wednesdays. The SWR said the train will have stoppages in Katpadi and Bengaluru. The railways also released a price list indicating the fares on the route:
Including catering, the fare from Mysuru to Bengaluru has been priced at Rs 720 for a chair car (CC) and Rs 1,215 for executive chair car (EC); while from Bengaluru to Mysuru, it is Rs 515 and Rs 985 for CC and EC, respectively.
From Chennai to Mysuru, the rates will be Rs 1,200 for CC and Rs 2,295 for EC; while from Mysuru to Chennai, it will be Rs 1,365 and Rs 2,485 for CC and EC, respectively, including catering.
As per the price list released by the railways, the lowest fare on the VB Express on this route is between Rs 495 (CC) between Katapadi and Chennai, while the highest fare listed is from Mysuru to Chennai (EC) at Rs 2,485.
The South Western Railway (SWR) said reservations for the train have begun and the public can book tickets. The VB train (20607) will leave Chennai Central at 5.50 am, reach Bengaluru at 10.20 am, and is expected to arrive in Mysuru at 12.20 pm (total travel time: 6 hours 30 minutes). On its return journey, 20608 VB Express will leave Mysuru at 1.05 pm, reach KSR Bengaluru City at 2.55 pm and arrive in Chennai at 7.30 pm (total travel time: 6 hours 35 minutes).
The train, with 14 chair cars and two executive chair cars, will have automatic doors, a GPS-based audiovisual passenger information system, Wi-Fi hotspot, and will be 20 minutes faster than Shatabdi Express. Like Shatabdi Express, VB Express will not have dynamic pricing. It will run at a speed of 75-77 kmph due to speed restrictions and curves, and will be the slowest VB Express in the country.