Surekha Yadav, Asia’s first female loco pilot, operated the Vande Bharat Express from Solapur to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus in Maharashtra. With this, she became the first female locomotive pilot of Vande Bharat Express. 

The train piloted by Yadav departed from Solapur station at the right time on March 13 and reached the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus five minutes before the scheduled arrival. 450 km long distance was covered in the journey.

Who Is Surekha Yadav?

Surekha Yadav hails from Satara in the Western Maharashtra region. She became India’s first female locomotive pilot in the year 1988. Yadav has won many accolades at the state and national levels.

She is a diploma in electrical engineering. In February 2023, before her deployment on Vande Bharat Express as a loco pilot, she had completed the training schedule at the Railway Institute, Vadodara.

On International Women’s Day, when the Central Railways plied the Mumbai-Pune Deccan Queen Express and CSMT-Kalyan ladies’ special local train, which had an all-women crew, Yadav drove the train along with co-pilot Sayali Sawardekar.

Also Read: Breakfast Babble: Here’s Why I Prefer Train Travel Over Air Travel

surekha yadav loco pilot

Surekha Yadav Earning Praise

The loco pilot was felicitated by her fellow drivers, on platform 8, at the Chattrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus, for the achievement. The Union Minister of Railways, Ashwini Vaishnav, congratulated Surekha Yadav and wrote, “Vande Bharat- powered by Nari Shakti. Smt. Surekha Yadav, the first woman loco pilot of Vande Bharat Express.

Surekha Yadav expressed her gratitude to be given the chance to operate the Vande Bharat Express. The Central Railways wrote in their press release,  “She was thankful for giving her the opportunity to pilot the new age, state-of-the-art technology Vande Bharat Train. The train departed Solapur at right time and reached CSMT 5 minutes before time.”

Vande Bharat Express

Vande Bharat Express is an electric multiple unit semi high-speed train being operated by the Indian Railways. Vande Bharat Trains are equipped with the KAVACH, a Train Collision Avoidance System. 

The trains are limited to 10 routes – New Delhi to Varanasi, New Delhi to Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Katra, New Delhi to Amb Andaura, Himachal Pradesh, Gandhi Nagar to Mumbai, Chennai to Mysuru, Nagpur to Bilaspur, Howrah to New Jalpaiguri, Secunderabad to Vishakhapatnam, Mumbai to Solapur, and Mumbai to Shirdi.

When asked about her first experience of piloting the Vande Bharat Express, Surekha Yadav said, “Vande Bharat is a semi-high-speed train, equipped with advance technology, hence, needs more alertness as compared to traditional trains.

It is said that technology is for males, and women are agonistic about the adoption of technology. These stereotypes are shattered when every entity, be it the state or society fosters the change brought by people. Surekha Yadav is one of the various examples that have created a new world of change.

Image Credits: Google Images

Feature image designed by Saudamini Seth

Sources: The Indian Express, The Hindustan Times, NDTV

Find the blogger: Katyayani Joshi

This post is tagged under: Vande Bharat Express, train, locomotive driver, first, Asian, woman, technology, Surekha Yadav, Indian railways, central railways, Mumbai, New Delhi, Ashwini Vaishnav, railway minister, high speed, express train, gratitude, first women loco pilot, first female Asian loco pilot

Disclaimer: We do not hold any right, or copyright, over any of the images used. These have been taken from Google. In case of credits or removal, the owner may kindly mail us.

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