We have welcomed ourselves to 2019 and the celebrations aren’t over yet as Kumbh Mela 2019 is yet to begin. Widely considered as the “world’s largest congregation of religious pilgrims”, Kumbh Mela has always been special for Indian people. The preparations are going on for more than a year. If you are in Prayagraj, you will notice the changes. A complete makeover of the city has happened. This shows the importance of the festival. The Railways is adding an extra fleet of the train for the festival. Just ahead of Kumbh Mela 2019, Train 18 is also beginning its commercial run.
Train 18 will begin its journey on 14th January, just ahead of Kumbh Mela between Delhi and Varanasi. Touted as the new Shatabdi Express, this train will be one of the four special trains to ferry delegates of the Pravasi Bhartiya Divas on January 24th from Allahabad to New Delhi, just in time for the Republic Day event on 26th January. Railway Minister, Mr. Piyush Goyal was quite impressed with its developments. The time taken to reach Varanasi from New Delhi is usually 11.30 hours whereas Train 18 will take only 8 hours.
According to Mr. Goyal, who was at New Delhi Railway Station to inspect the train, “This train has amenities of international standards, is Wi-Fi enabled, has CCTV cameras, and it has no locomotive or engine. It is a train set. It will cover the 750-km route at a maximum speed of 160 kmph”. If sources are to be believed, this special train for Kumbh Mela 2019 will be flagged off by PM Narendra Modi himself.
This particular train will have two stoppages. One of them is at Kanpur and the other one at Allahabad. This train is quite special laced with provisions of international standards such as Wi-Fi and CCTV cameras. It is one of a kind train as it has no locomotive or an engine. The maximum speed of 160km/hr will make sure that the passengers complete the travel with maximum comfort. There will be two classes of coaches in this train - Regular and executive class. Both the classes will be fully air-conditioned.
The fare of both the classes has not been decided but will be announced near Kumbh Mela 2019. The fare will include the cover of food. Coming to the features of the train, it has everything to enhance the comfort of the passenger. Fully interconnected gangways, automatic doors with retractable footsteps, GPS based passenger information system, modular toilets with bio-vacuum system are some of its classy features. In the executive class, seats are rotational which means, they can be aligned in the direction of the travel. You will also get diffused LED lighting and differently-able friendly toilets.