Union Ministers Flag Off Extension Of Banaras-Sambalpur Express To Visakhapatnam

Bhubaneswar: Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw flagged off the extension of Banaras-Sambalpur-Banaras Express train upto Visakhapatnam from Sambalpur station on Monday.

On the inaugural day, the bi-weekly train will run as a special train from Sambalpur to Visakhapatnam. However, the regular service in the extended portion for this train will start from November 22 from Visakhapatnam and from November 23 from Banaras.

The train has been extended to Visakhapatnam without disturbing the scheduled timings and stoppages between Sambalpur and Banaras.

The extension of the train from Sambalpur to Visakhapatnam is expected to benefit the commuters from western and southern Odisha travelling for various reasons like business, education and medical treatment. Besides, it will boost tourism and cultural exchange between Banaras and Visakhapatnam.

The extended train, now named 18311 Visakhapatnam-Banaras Express, will depart from Visakhapatnam every Wednesday and Sunday at 0410hrs. In the return journey, 18312 Banaras-Visakhapatnam Express will leave Banaras every Thursday and Monday at 1500hrs.

The train will have stoppages at Bargarh Rd, Balangir, Titlagarh, Kesinga, Muniguda, Rayagada, Parvatipuram, Bobbili, Vizianagaram and Kottavalasa.

It will run with LHB coaches, featuring one AC-2 tier, four AC-3 tier, eight Sleeper Classes, six Second Class seating, one guard-cum-luggage and Divyangjan coach and one power car.

MP Nitesh Gangadev and MLA Nauri Nayak were present on the occasion. MPs Suresh Pujari, Sangeeta Kumari Singh Deo and Niranjan Bishi and Basanta Kumar Panda attended through video-conferencing at Bargarh Road, Balangir and Kesinga stations respectively.

Earlier, ECoR Additional General Manager Sharad Kumar Srivastava welcomed the guests. Divisional Railway Manager of Sambalpur Division Vineet Singh was also present.

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