Railways informed that booking of tickets for the Delhi-Katra Vande Bharat Express was open on the IRCTC website.
New Delhi: The first commercial run of the Delhi-Katra Vande Bharat Express will be on October 5 and booking of tickets is now open on the IRCTC website, the Railways said Sunday.
Home Minister Amit Shah will flag off the the high-speed train on October 3 from Delhi on its inaugural run.
Earlier, ThePrint had reported that passengers on the train will only be served vegetarian food.
A special menu is being prepared for the train by the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), a source had said.
The train, which is India’s fastest and is expected to cut travel time between Delhi and Katra, the last station on the way to Vaishno Devi temple, from over 12 hours to eight hours, will host a vegetarian menu keeping in mind the faith of pilgrims expected to take the journey.
Vaishno Devi, located at the Trikuta or “three-peaked” mountain in Jammu & Kashmir, is one of the holiest places of Hindu pilgrimage. The deity, known as “Moonh Maangi Muradein Poori Karne Wali Mata” or the goddess who grants any wish made by her devotees, draws lakhs every year — nearly 85 lakh visited last year alone.
Menu to change on existing route too
The engine-less Vande Bharat Express was flagged off by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in February, and has a capacity to hit speeds of up to 160 km/h where tracks permit, though the operating speed is lower.
Its maiden route serves the distance between Delhi and Varanasi. Sources in the ministry said the menu on this train will be changed as well after a passenger survey suggested a demand for Indian food as opposed to the continental fare currently on offer.
The food items served on the Vande Bharat Express are supplied by five-star hotels, which makes each meal costlier by Rs 150 than the one served on the Rajdhani Express.
On the new menu, the source said, items such as doughnuts, chocolate bars, cutlets, cookies, and vegetarian quiche are likely to be replaced with poha, uttapam, and bread pakoda. The non-veg menu is likely to include omelettes and cutlets.