Amrit Bharat Express
SMVT Bengaluru Malda Town Amrit Bharat Express on standby at SMVT Bengaluru railway stationWikipedia / Sameer2905

Indian Railways is gearing up to introduce a new addition to its fleet, the Amrit Bharat Express, connecting three major cities: Pune, Bhopal, and Bengaluru. This development comes as a response to the longstanding demand for improved rail connectivity between these bustling urban hubs, especially the two major IT cities of Bengaluru and Pune.

Unlike the high-speed Vande Bharat trains which primarily link major cities, the Amrit Bharat Express is slated to offer overnight journeys, complete with berths for passengers. According to a senior railway official, the inaugural run of this service is anticipated in July, although specific route details are yet to be disclosed.

Usually, the Amrit Bharat Express is operated by Indian Railways as a non-air-conditioned, low-cost, sleeper cum unreserved service connecting cities that are more than 800 km (500 miles) apart or take more than ten hours to travel with existing services.

Designated as an LHB non-AC train, the Amrit Bharat Express boasts a maximum permissible speed (MPS) of 130 km/h. However, achieving this speed is contingent upon meeting stringent fitness criteria along the route sections. Given the current state of many Indian railway tracks, the train is expected to operate at reduced speeds, ranging from 100 to 110 km/h, in various segments of the journey.

Vande Bharat,Express
Vande Bharat,ExpressIANS

The Amrit Bharat Express offers two distinct classes of service, catering to diverse passenger preferences. Non-AC coaches feature sealed gangways but lack air conditioning, onboard catering, or automatic doors.

Meanwhile, AC coaches provide a host of amenities including air conditioning, onboard catering, automatic doors, sealed gangways, CCTV cameras, smoke alarms, electrical fire safety systems, and a centralised coach monitoring system, among others.

Both classes offer essential facilities such as electric outlets, bio-vacuum toilets, sensor-based water taps, and a passenger information system. However, AC coaches elevate the travel experience with additional comforts like reclining seats, reading lights, footrests, onboard Wi-Fi, entertainment systems, and an odour control system.