PM Modi Flags Off Puri-Rourkela & 8 Other Vande Bharat Trains With Improved Amenities
Bhubaneswar: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday flagged off, through video-conferencing, nine Vande Bharat trains connecting religious and tourist destinations across 11 states, including Odisha, taking the total number of these semi high-speed trains to 34.
Governor Ganeshi Lal and Union Minister of Education and Skill Development & Entrepreneurship Dharmendra Pradhan along with other MPs and MLAs attended a function organised at Bhubaneswar railway station that saw launch of the second Vande Bharat Express for Odisha on Puri-Rourkela route.
Besides Rourkela-Puri Vande Bharat Express, the eight other trains are Kerala (Kasaragod-Thiruvanthapuram), Rajasthan (Jaipur-Udaipur), Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu (Vijayawada-Chennai), Tamil Nadu (Tirunelveli-Chennai), Gujarat (Jamnagar-Ahmedabad), Jharkhand and West Bengal (Ranchi-Howrah), Telangana and Karnataka (Secunderabad (Kacheguda)-Bengaluru (Yesvantpur) and Bihar and West Bengal (Patna-Howrah).
In his address, PM Modi said that these trains will significantly improve connectivity as well as boost tourism across India. “25 Vande Bharat trains are already running, now nine more will be added to them. The popularity of Vande Bharat trains is constantly rising. Over 1,11,00,000 passengers have already travelled on them. That day is not far when Vande Bharat trains will connect each and every part of the country.”
He further said that the new Vande Bharat Express train has lot more improved and enhanced amenities and features for the comfort of the passengers, along with advanced safety features, including Kavach technology. “Speed, the scale of infrastructure development is matching aspirations of 140 crore Indians…Today people of Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Bihar, West Bengal, Kerala, Odisha, Jharkhand and Gujarat will get the facility of Vande Bharat Express trains. These new Vande Bharat Express trains depict the new energy of the country.”
He also spoke about the increase in railway budget and work on multi-modal connectivity. “The government has put focus on ease of travel and Vande Bharat is doing that. Earlier governments did not give due importance to Railways. Thousands of stations were built before independence and so a programme is on to modernise them.”
Puri-Rourkela Vande Bharat Express, connecting the abode of Lord Jagannath in the pilgrim town of Puri with the Steel City Rourkela and state capital Bhubaneswar, Industrial Area at Angul and Jharsuguda en route, will be faster by about 3 hours. It will reduce the average travel time from Puri–Rourkela as compared to Puri-Yog Nagari Rishikesh Express, which takes 11.50 hours and Puri-Hatia Tapaswini Express which takes 10.25 hours, which is the fastest train in this route, the East Coast Railway (ECoR) said.
Train No.20836 Puri-Rourkela Vande Bharat Express will depart Puri at 5 am and will reach Rourkela at 12.45 pm the same day, covering a distance of 505 kms in 7 hours and 45 minutes. In return direction, 20835 Rourkela- Puri Vande Bharat Express will depart Rourkela at 2:10 pm and will reach Puri at 9.40 pm the same day.
It will run six days a week except Saturdays.
The train will halt at Khurda Road, Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Dhenkanal, Talcher Road, Angul, Rairakhol, Sambalpur City and Jharsuguda.
The fare of Puri-Rourkela Vande Bharat Express in both the class – AC Chair Car and Executive AC Chair Car, is likely to be between Rs 1,200 to Rs 2,000.
The ECoR further said that this new Vande Bharat Express train will connect coastal central and western Odisha districts and fulfil the dreams of people of the regions to have a luxurious, comfortable, smooth, safe train ride while counting on reduced journey time. This train will greatly benefit the pilgrims, traders, students and tourists with a reduced travel time between Puri and Rourkela, it added
Odisha’s first Vande Bharat Express between Puri and Howrah was flagged off on May 18.