Indian Railway TTEs are misleadingly asserted as Vande Bharat loco pilots


Vande Bharat Train Loco Pilots Crew… Could you have ever imagined this amazing scene ? From the coal fired engine drivers to this airline style engine crew.

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In the 20-second viral video, we can see two women walking on a railway platform dragging their luggage trolleys, wearing coolers with a Hindi song in the background. This video was shared with a claim stating that they are the Vande Bharat loco pilot crew.

The social media users have also added that this is an amazing scene from coal engine drivers to this airline-style engine crew. This video is widely spread on social media with similar claims which can be seen here, here, and here. Come, let’s check the veracity of this claim.

What’s the truth?

When we started our research using the keyframes of the viral clip, it led us to the original video uploaded by Shijina Rajan (@travelling_tte) on her Instagram handle on 23 September 2023 with the caption “Vande Bharat” accompanied by the same background song as in the viral video.


There were more images from their travel on the train can also be seen on her Instagram page.According to her Instagram bio, she was a former athlete who currently works as TTE at Indian Railways.

Moreover, we also got a YouTube video by the Malayalam channel namely “Tech Travel Eat Shorts.”

The video was uploaded on 25, April 2023 with the title ‘Athlete TTEs of Vande Bharat’ (The original text was in Malayalam). This YouTube video featured both Shijina Rajan and Diana as mentioned by the host or the person who introduced them to the audience. The person then humourously adds that the Indian Railways hired former sportspersons as TTEs in the Vande Bharat Express since it is a fast-running train. The description box of the video which was in Malayalam language is loosely translated as “All the TTE men in India are sports stars. That means they are ready to face the need for sport!! Let this be an asset for passenger safety.”

This means that both the women seen in the viral video are working as the TTEs of the Indian Railways and not the loco pilots of India’s Vande Bharat Express. 

While watching the viral original video shared by Shijina Rajan we noticed that the thumbnail shows ‘Trivandrum Division’ written on the lanyards of the TTEs. We took that as a cue and searched further using Google which led us to a Kerala Kamudi article published on 26 April 2023, titled ‘First day of Vande Bharat brings another fame for athlete Padmini Thomas.’  According to the article, “Famed Indian athlete Padmini Thomas was one of the lucky few to grace the Vande Bharat on its initial run in the state. The icing on the cake came for Thomas when the TTR arrived to review her tickets. Familiar smiles spread all through the elite interior of Vande Bharat as Diana John Selvan came in the TTRs robe. Diana reviewed the tickets and later paved the way for media cameras to frame the two together. Diana is the daughter of Padmini Thomas.”

Padmini Thomas was an athlete and former president of Kerala State Sports Council. Diana John Selvan, also known as Diana Selvan, who is the daughter of Indian athlete Padmini Thomas and the late athlete John Selvan. Diana retired from athletics and joined the Indian Railways as a TTE six years ago.

This proves that, the two women shown in the viral video are TTEs of Indian Railways and not the loco pilots.


Thus, with the available evidence we conclude that the viral video shows two women Traveling Ticket Examiner (TTEs) with a misleading claim that they are the loco pilots of Vande Bharat Express.

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