The blue-and-white train will save three hours of travel time compared to other trains on the route, officials said. (Image: PTI)
With sparkling red reclining seats offering a 180-degree rotation, the Executive Class tickets of the Howrah-New Jalpaiguri Vande Bharat Express, which was virtually flagged off by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday, were sold out within hours after the bookings opened.
In fact, the Executive Class (EC) seats seem to have caught the fancy of the passengers, with a waitlist already prepared for January 1, the first day of the train’s commercial run.
Only 37 EC tickets are available for January 2, while 46 are available for the next day.
For AC Chair Car, 367 seats out of a total of 903 are available for January 1, according to the IRCTC website.
A total of 69 seats are there in Executive Chair Car, while 903 are available in AC Chair Car for normal booking.
The train, the seventh such train so far, has a fare of Rs 1,565 for AC Chair Car (CC) between Howrah and NJP. The Executive Chair Car ticket fare between the same destinations is Rs 2,825. The train will have three stoppages at Barsoi, Malda, and Bolpur.
“The train is already a hit. The tickets are flying off the shelf and we are very happy about it,” IRCTC Chairman and Managing Director Rajni Hasija told PTI.
She said the IRCTC has specially designed a menu, keeping the flavours of Bengal in mind.
The menu for the train includes puri (luchi) and chana, kosha mangsho (dry mutton or chicken), fish fillet and fish curry, sandesh, rosogolla, and mishti doi (sweet curd).
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