Review of Vande Bharat Express: Looking beyond the PR

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The Vande Bharat Express, touted as a game-changer in the Indian railway landscape, has been a subject of both praise and criticism since its inception. While the government, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), lauds it as a monumental achievement, there are significant concerns and criticisms that question its success.
Semi-high speed? Only in theory
One of the primary issues plaguing the Vande Bharat Express is its speed, or lack thereof. Despite being marketed as a semi-high-speed train, the reality is that its maximum average speed is a modest 94 km/h, with some trains chugging along at a mere 63 km/h. This falls short of the expectations set for a semi-high-speed train and raises doubts about its ability to significantly reduce travel times between major cities.
Take, for instance, the 379 km journey between Patna and Ranchi, a route where efficiency and speed are crucial. The Vande Bharat Express takes an unimpressive 6 hours to cover this distance, a duration that is deemed subpar by international standards for high-speed rail travel. This raises questions about the train’s effectiveness in meeting the pressing demands of a nation with a burgeoning population and a growing need for swift intercity connectivity.

Also read: The dying sight of uniform livery on Indian trains
The very essence of the Vande Bharat project was to introduce a high-speed rail system to cater to the fast-paced lifestyle of today’s commuters. However, its failure to substantially reduce travel times has left many questioning the efficacy of the initiative. If the Vande Bharat Express takes as much time as its predecessors, it raises concerns about the true impact it has had on improving the efficiency of rail travel in India.
Going the air travel route – in a bad way
Furthermore, the cost of traveling on the Vande Bharat Express has been a sore point for many passengers. Comparing the prices of similar classes on other trains, the Vande Bharat Express appears to be exorbitantly priced. For instance, a chair car ticket from Ranchi to Patna on the Vande Bharat Express costs Rs 1175, while the same class on the Jan Shatabdi train, which takes an additional hour for the journey, is priced at just Rs 650. This significant price difference raises questions about the value proposition of the Vande Bharat Express, especially when the time savings are marginal.
The failure of the Vande Bharat Express to offer a cost-effective alternative to existing trains diminishes its appeal among budget-conscious travelers. The government’s attempts to position it as a breakthrough in the realm of rail travel face skepticism when passengers weigh the minimal time saved against the substantial increase in ticket prices.
Insane PR behind Vande Bharat feels a bit cringe now
In the face of these challenges, the persistent promotion of the Vande Bharat Express by the Railway Minister, Ashwini Vaishnaw, raises eyebrows. While it is essential for policymakers to champion their initiatives, the stark realities of speed, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness must be acknowledged and addressed.
This is a review of the Vande Bharat Express by Simply Railway, one of the best travel review channels on YouTube. It looks past all the PR and reviews the train in a very non-biased manner. Have a look at it to know how the train fares in his opinion.

Also read: Just a nice paint job – Debunking the myth about Vande Sadharan train

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