Bookings have opened for the Delhi-Katra Vande Bharat Express on IRCTC website. The train, which will prove a boon for pilgrims visiting the shrine of Vaishno Devi, will be flagged off by Home Minister Amit Shah on 3rd October. The second Vande Bharat Express train will start its first commercial run from 5th October, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal tweeted.

Delhi and Katra in just 8 hours with Vande Bharat Express

The Vande Bharat Express is likely to cut the travel time between between Delhi and Katra to just 8 hours. Train number 22439 will depart from the New Delhi Railway Station at 6 am and will reach Katra at 2 pm. On its return journey, train number 22440 will depart from Katra at 3 pm and reach New Delhi at 11 pm.

Vande Bharat Express ticket fare

The railways have not applied the dynamic pricing principle for its fares on the new train. The minimum fare for travelling between New Delhi to Sri Mata Vaishno Devi Katra station in the chair car is 1,630, while the fare for the executive chair car is priced at 3,015.

Vande Bharat Express stoppages, speed

The Vande Bharat Express will run on all days of the week except Tuesday. The train would be run at a maximum speed of 130 kmph on the Delhi-Katra route with three stops - Ambala, Ludhiana and Jammu Tawi - before reaching Katra.

Enhanced features

The new train has a bigger pantry compared to the first Train 18 or Vande Bharat Express, that runs between Delhi and Varanasi. It also has windows with a special provision to protect against stone-pelting and a cattle guard in the front to prevent damage to the train or derailment in case of cattle run. "To avoid damage due to stray cattle, the train has been equipped with a sturdy aluminium-clad nose cover. And to guard the window shields against stone pelting, a special film on windows has been provided," IANS quoted a railway official as saying. The Integral Coach Factory (ICF) has added a slew of modern features like adjustable seats, improved wash basins, automatic doors, WiFi and infotainment system, among others.