The city will have a second Vande Bharat train as the Secunderabad-Pune Shatabdi Express would be replaced with new rakes starting April this year.
“It is almost final and the new train is expected to start operations soon. This train will belong to the Secunderabad rail division falling under the SouthCentral Railway. The railways have already decided to replace the Shatabdi Express trains with Vande Bharat rakes and this move is in line with that,” a railway official said.
The Central Railway (CR) already has two Vande Bharat Express trains – from CSMT (Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus) to Solapur and CSMT to Shirdi.
“The CSMT-Solapur Vande Bharat train’s response is better than the one running between CMST-Shirdi,” a senior CR official said. Another official added that the average occupancy of the train between CSMT to Solapur was almost 90%. “This train also acts as an additional connection between Pune and Mumbai.
There is also a plan to replace the Howrah-Pune Duranto Express with a Vande Bharat rake as well. “However, it can take some time as the Vande Bharat rakes only have chair cars for passengers unlike the Duranto, which has sleeper classes as well,” an official said.