Due to poor occupancy, the much-hyped first Vande Bharat Express in the region between Bilaspur-Nagpur-Bilaspur has been temporarily replaced by Tejas Express from Sunday. The Vande Bharat rake will run between Tirupati-Secunderabad.
A notification to this effect was issued on May 11, 2023. The first trip of Tejas reached Nagpur on Sunday at the same time as Vande Bharat. The occupancy of Vande Bharat was 50%, which was the lowest as compared to other Vande Bharat trains operating in the country.
The Vande Bharat Express was launched amid much fanfare by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on December 11. However, due to high-cost fares, the occupancy was not satisfactory since day one. The fare for the executive class from Nagpur-Bilaspur was Rs 2,045 while that of the car chair was Rs 1,075.
The Tejas Express will have 11 coaches. It includes two executive class coaches with 56 seats each and seven chair cars of 78 seats each. There will be two power cars.
The 20825-20826 Bilaspur-Nagpur-Bilaspur Vande Bharat used to leave Bilaspur at 6.45am and reach Nagpur at 12.15pm. The same rake left Nagpur at 2.05pm and reached Bilaspur at 7.35pm. The timings of the Tejas Express and train number will be the same.
Senior railway officials said, “Passengers have already been informed about the refund and fare difference. Onboard announcements are also being made in this regard. Special booths have been opened for refund.”