Acknowledging its made-in-India status, the Indian Railways has named the indigenously manufactured semi-fast Train 18 as Vande Bharat Express, which will ply from the national capital to Varanasi, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal said on Sunday.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to flag off the train soon, which will ply between Delhi and his Lok Sabha constituency.
The 16-coach train, built in 18 months at a cost of Rs 97 crore by the Integral Coach Factory, Chennai, is regarded as a successor to the 30-year-old Shatabdi Express. It's also the first locomotive-less train in the country.
Addressing the media here, Goyal said when it was conceptualised, it was named Train 18 and now it has been given a new name after taking suggestions from the general public.
"Train 18 will now be known as Vande Bharat Express. It's a train built completely in India by Indian engineers, in a span of 18 months. It'll ply from Delhi to Varanasi. It is an example that it's possible to make world-class trains under Make in India," Goyal said.
The train will be fully air-conditioned and will stop at Kanpur and Allahabad and will have two executive chair cars, the minister said adding that it will have superior quality of air suspension for comfortable journey of the passengers.
"It is completely made in India and various names were suggested by the general public but we have decided to name it Vande Bharat Express. A gift on the occasion of Republic Day to people. Will request the prime minister to flag it off," he said.
Goyal said he has requested the Railway Board to scale up its production to reduce its overall cost and once the country will have surplus production, it will be exported as well.