New Vande Bharat Express Linking Bengaluru and Kochi on the Horizon

Anticipation is building for the potential introduction of a new Vande Bharat Express train that could connect Bengaluru and Kochi. The Integral Coach Factory (ICF) has reportedly approved six new Vande Bharat trains for six railway zones, and there are expectations that one of these trains might operate on the Bengaluru-Ernakulam route. This development holds significance as it would establish a high-speed train link between two of the busiest railway stations in South India. The proposed train schedule indicates a departure from Ernakulam at 5 am, reaching KSR Bengaluru by 1:35 pm, with a return journey from Bengaluru at 2:05 pm, arriving in Ernakulam by 10:45 pm, making stops at Thrissur, Palakkad, Coimbatore, Erode, and Salem.

Despite the positive outlook for improved rail connectivity, concerns persist regarding the aging infrastructure, particularly the continued use of Integral Coach Factory’s (ICF) old bogies in many Kerala trains. Commuters have faced challenges such as malfunctioning doors, inadequate cleanliness, and non-functional amenities. The push for newer Linke Hofmann Busch (LHB) coaches in the region is gaining momentum, given their enhanced safety features and improved passenger experience. Advocates are urging the Kerala government and MPs from the state to exert pressure on the railway ministry to facilitate the transition to modern LHB coaches, which are already available in ICF Perambur and Kapurthala Coach Factory.

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