Indian Railways, the biggest national transporter of India has scrapped the Vande Bharat Express train running on the Nagpur in Maharashtra to Bilaspur in Chhattisgarh route. As per a report on a local news website, the semi high speed train has been scrapped due to an underwhelming passenger response. The rake of the Vande Bharat train has been replaced by the Tejas Express according to a government notification. Tejas Express was launched in India as the fastest train, but got replaced by Vande Bharat Express trains as the India’s fastest train.
The report further states that the Vande Bharat rakes will be used on the Tirupati-Secunderabad route going forward. The Nagpur-Bilaspur route of the Vande Bharat Express has the lowest occupancy of all the 15 routes, on which the train was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself.
As per the report, the train reached on Sunday at the Nagpur Junction with just 50 per cent occupancy. The Tejas Express, will run on the same route and the timings will coincide with that of the Vande Bharat Express.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Nagpur-Bilaspur Vande Bharat Express in December 2022. As per experts, among the reasons being cited for the low load factor, the high fare prices is the biggest reason for such a low interest among travellers. An executive class ticket on the Vande Bharat Express cost Rs 2,045 on the Bilaspur-Nagpur route, while the AC chair car ticket was priced at Rs 1,075 per head.
The Tejas Express was launched in 2017 as India’s first corporate train, operated entirely by IRCTC, a subsidiary of the Indian Railways. Tejas was the most luxurious train with amenities such as LED TV, WiFi, and CCTVs until Vande Bharat Express was introduced.