Indian Railways takes proactive measures to address underutilization of the Nagpur-Bilaspur Vande Bharat Express, opting for an optimized eight-coach configuration instead of the original sixteen-coach design, and introduced Tejas Express on a temporary basis, effective Sunday.
Till January of this fiscal year, the Bilaspur-Nagpur Vande Bharat Express reported the lowest passenger footfall among all the Vande Bharat Express trains nationwide, with an occupancy rate of merely 55%.
The Nagpur-Bilaspur Tejas Express is designed with passenger comfort in mind, boasting a total of 11 coaches. This includes 2 executive class coaches, each offering 56 seats, 7 chair cars accommodating 78 seats each, and two power cars.
As per the statement released by the South East Central Railway zone of Indian Railways, this interim arrangement will remain in effect until the rake of Secunderabad - Tirupati Vande Bharat Express Train No. 20701 / 20702 becomes available.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled the Bilaspur-Nagpur Vande Bharat Express in December last year, initiating its operations from the iconic Nagpur railway station. The primary objective behind this grand launch was to significantly reduce the travel time from Nagpur to Bilaspur to a mere five hours and thirty minutes, a considerable improvement from the previously endured seven to eight-hour journey duration.
Unfortunately, the Nagpur-Bilaspur Vande Bharat Express struggled to attract passengers as expected due to the relatively steep fares. With the executive class ticket priced at INR 2,045 and the Chair Car ticket at INR 1,075, the high-cost fares hindered the achievement of satisfactory occupancy levels for the service.