Asia’s first woman loco pilot Surekha Yadav operates Vande Bharat Express

Mumbai, Mar 14 (PTI) Asia’s first woman loco pilot Surekha Yadav has added another feather to her cap as she became the first female to operate the newly-introduced semi-high speed Vande Bharat Express train, the Central Railway said.

Mumbai: Vande Bharat Express train at a railway station in Mumbai, Thursday, Feb. 9, 2023. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will flag off two Vande Bharat trains from Mumbai on Feb. 10 on the Solapur and Shirdi Sai Nagar routes. (PTI Photo/Kumal Patil)(PTI02_09_2023_000257B)

She piloted the semi-high speed train between Solapur station and Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) in Mumbai on Monday.

The train departed Solapur station at right time on March 13 and reached CSMT five minutes before the scheduled arrival, a Central Railway release said, adding that on completion of a more than 450-km long journey, Yadav was felicitated at platform number 8 at CSMT.

“Vande Bharat – powered by Nari Shakti. Smt. Surekha Yadav, the first woman loco pilot of Vande Bharat Express,” Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnav tweeted.

The Central Railway said, “Yadav notched another feather in Central Railway’s cap by becoming the first woman loco pilot of Vande Bharat Express”.

Hailing from Satara in the western Maharashtra region, Yadav became India’s first female train driver in 1988. She had won many awards at the state and national levels so far for her achievements.

The Central Railway has launched two Vande Bharat Express trains on CSMT-Solapur and CSMT-Sainagar Shirdi routes, which were shown green flags by Prime minister Narendra Modi on February 10, 2023.

According to railway officials, loco piloting on new routes involves comprehensive learning and the crew has to remain vigilant at every moment during the train journey.

“The crew learning process involves signal observance, hands-on new equipment, coordination with other crew members, observance of all parameters for running of a train,” the release stated.