The Vande Bharat Express, India’s technological marvel in railway transport, has been making headlines, but not all for the right reasons. The train, operating between Indore and Bhopal, is reportedly facing a challenge with 70% of its seats remaining vacant.

The Underutilized Route: Indore to Bhopal

Sudhanshu Mani, the creator of the Vande Bharat Train, expressed concerns during his visit to Indore. He noted that the underperformance of the Indore-Bhopal Vande Bharat route was anticipated.

According to Mani, the decision to operate the train on this route was driven more by political reasons than practical viability. He pointed out the redundancy of choosing a more expensive train journey when a bus can cover the same distance in almost the same time and at half the cost.

Government’s Dilemma: Reducing Ticket Prices

Mani warned that reducing ticket prices now could lead to significant losses for the government. He emphasized the importance of conducting extensive surveys to determine the most viable routes for such trains, a step seemingly overlooked in this case.

Ambitious Expansion Plans

Despite the current challenges, there are ambitious plans to introduce 500 Vande Bharat trains across India over the next five years. These trains, known for their advanced technology and modern amenities, are expected to be deployed on routes with sufficient passenger demand.

The Future: Sleeper Version and Phasing Out Rajdhani Trains

In a significant shift in Indian Railways’ strategy, all Rajdhani trains will gradually be replaced by Vande Bharat sleeper trains. This transition will be accompanied by upgrades to railway stations nationwide.

Success Story: Extension to Nagpur

The Vande Bharat Train has seen success on its extended route to Nagpur. This extension has resulted in consistently high demand, with the train often operating at full capacity.

Vande Bharat Express: Indore-Bhopal-Nagpur Details

  • Train Number 20911: Operates six days a week from Indore Junction (INDB) to Nagpur Junction (NGP).
  • Journey Time: Leaves Indore at 6:30 AM, reaching Nagpur at 2:30 PM, covering 635 kilometers in approximately 8 hours and 20 minutes.
  • Stops: Includes four station stoppages.
  • Fares: AC Chair Car – ₹810, Executive Chair Car – ₹1510. In comparison, a chartered bus from Indore to Bhopal costs around ₹450.


  • Departs Indore at 6:30 AM
  • Arrives at Ujjain at 7:15 AM
  • Departs Ujjain at 7:20 AM
  • Reaches final destination, Nagpur, at 2:30 PM

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