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Vande Bharat Express train in India
Photograph: RAMESH R NAIR /

A new high-speed sleeper train will link two major Asian cities

Journey times between two of India’s biggest cities will soon be slashed – and get a swish new sleeper option

Ed Cunningham
Written by
Ed Cunningham

As it is, the train between Delhi and Mumbai is one of the world’s great rail journeys. The rail route between the two Indian cities – which are more than 1,300 kilometres apart – can take around 16 hours but often takes more than a whopping 20 hours.  

But the route is soon to get a major upgrade. Not only will brand-new Vande Bharat Express trains take just 12 hours to get between Mumbai and Delhi, but they might be getting an even faster and swisher update.

Current Vande Bharat semi-high-speed trains can run at 130 kilometres per hour, but a new model might be able to reach speeds of 220 km/h. In practice, it’s likely they’ll travel mostly at around 180 km/h – though that’s still significantly faster than current lines. 

And better yet, there’s also the potential for the Vande Bharat Express to become a sleeper train. The second stage of the new model’s rollout will see night train options with Wi-Fi, LED screens, air purification systems, and much more. In the long term, Indian Railways hopes to feature these new trains across its entire night train network.

As it stands, however, quite a lot of work needs to be done before any of this becomes a reality. The trains themselves are apparently about 30 months away from completion, though improvements need to be made to tracks, signal systems, and fencing before they can be fully rolled out. 

In any case, it looks like journey times on the third biggest passenger train network in the world (after Russia and China) are about to be well and truly slashed! Keep an eye on this page for further details – we’ll update it when we find out more.

Did you see that you can now get super-cheap high-speed train tickets between Madrid and Barcelona?

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