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West Bengal is likely to get its first Vande Bharat Express soon, a claim made by Darjeeling MP Raju Bista on Monday. The member of parliament speaking at a programme at the Siliguri Junction railway station said the train will connect the Sealdah station in Kolkata to the New Jalpaiguri station in the north Bengal city of Siliguri.

"People will be able to reach their destinations much faster when the Vande Bharat expressed is launched on the Sealdah-New Jalpaiguri route. It will begin a new chapter in the development of the region," the BJP MP said as quoted by news agency PTI. Siliguri's BJP MLA Shankar Ghosh and senior railway officials were present at the programme.

India launched its first semi-high-speed train, the Vande Bharat Express, in 2019.

The train, developed by the Integral Coach Factory (ICF), Chennai, has an intelligent braking system, enabling better acceleration and deceleration.

All the coaches are equipped with automatic doors, a GPS-based audio-visual passenger information system, onboard Wi-Fi and comfortable seats. The executive class has rotating chairs.

Indian Railways introduced the new avatar of high speed train Vande Bharat i.e. Vande Bharat 2. Vande Bharat 2 is equipped with more advancements and improved features like 0 to 100 Kmpl speed in just 52 second, maximum speed up to 180 Kmph, lesser weight of 392 ton instead of 430 ton and WI-FI content on demand. New Vande Bharat will also have 32-inch LCD TVs which was of 24 inch in earlier version. 15 percent more energy efficient ACs with dust free clean air cooling of traction motor will make the travel more comfortable. Side recliner seat facility which is being provided to Executive Class passengers, will now be made available for all classes. Vande Bharat is a Shatabdi-type train of “Semi High Speed" offering additional amenities and advantages to the passengers.

In the new design of Vande Bharat Express, photo-catalytic ultra violet air purification system is installed in the roof mounted Roof Mounted Package Unit (RMPU) for air purification. As recommended by Central Scientific Instruments Organisation (CSIO), Chandigarh, this system is designed and installed in both ends of RMPU to filter and clean the air free from germs, bacteria, virus, etc. coming through fresh air and return air.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi already said 75 new Vande Bharat Express trains will be launched by 15 August 2023.

*With inputs from agencies

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