New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday flagged off nine new Vande Bharat Express trains via video conferencing, taking the total number of semi-high-speed trains to 34. The prime minister said the Vande Bharat Express trains being launched today will significantly improve connectivity as well as boost tourism across India. He said the government is focussing on multi-modal connectivity and ease of travel to ensure that time in commuting is minimised.
“This infrastructural development has matched aspirations of 140 crore Indians and this is what the country wants now,” the prime minister said.
The nine trains will provide faster connectivity across 11 states — Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Bihar, West Bengal, Kerala, Odisha, Jharkhand and Gujarat.
“In the last 9 years, PM Modi has extraordinarily transformed the Railway system. Today the railway stations cleaner, with newer facilities,” Union minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said at the flagging-off ceremony.
The new trains that were flagged off by Prime Minister Modi are Udaipur – Jaipur Vande Bharat Express, Tirunelveli-Madurai- Chennai Vande Bharat Express, Hyderabad –Bengaluru Vande Bharat Express, Vijayawada – Chennai (via Renigunta) Vande Bharat Express, Patna – Howrah Vande Bharat Express, Kasaragod – Thiruvananthapuram Vande Bharat Express, Rourkela – Bhubaneswar – Puri Vande Bharat Express, Ranchi – Howrah Vande Bharat Express andJamnagar-Ahmedabad Vande Bharat Express.
As compared to the current fastest train along the route, Rourkela- Bhubaneswar – Puri and Kasaragod – Thiruvananthapuram, the Vande Bharat trains will cut travel time between respective destinations by about three hours; Hyderabad – Bengaluru by more than 2.5 hours; Tirunelveli-Madurai- Chennai by more than 2 hours.
The travel time between Ranchi – Howrah and Patna – Howrah and Jamnagar-Ahmedabad will be reduced by about one hour when compared with the fastest trains currently available between these destinations.
The travel time between Udaipur – Jaipur will be reduced by about half an hour.
The Rourkela- Bhubaneswar – Puri and Tirunelveli-Madurai- Chennai trains will connect important religious towns of Puri and Madurai.