Surekha Yadav became India's first female train driver in 1988
Surekha Yadav, Asia's first woman loco pilot has become the first female to operate the Vande Bharat Express train. She piloted the semi-high-speed train between Solapur station and Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) in Mumbai on Monday.
Taking to Twitter, the Ministry of Railways shared a video of her operating the vehicle Vande Bharat Express train. In the clip, Ms Yadav can be seen cruising the locomotive carefully through the tracks. Along with the video, the caption reads, "Smt. Surekha Yadav, Loco Pilot cruising the first female-driven Vande Bharat train from CSMT, Mumbai to Solapur through the steepest Bhor Ghat between Mumbai & Pune in Maharashtra."
Watch the video here:
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, according to PTI.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi also tweeted, "This is the confidence of the women power of New India! The achievements that women are registering their names in every field of life today, they assure that the country's resolutions will come true in Amritkal."
"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, Ms 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, PTI reported.
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.