New Delhi: Inaugurating the much-anticipated high-speed Vande Bharat Express on Thursday, Union home minister Amit Shah said it marks the journey of the development of Jammu and Kashmir. The train will run between New Delhi and Katra Station with a reduced travel time of only four hours.
Broaching the issue of the abrogation of Article 370, the minister said that there were many obstacles in J&K’s path to development. In the next 10 years, the new union territory will be one of the most developed states, the minister said.
The Delhi-Katra Vande Bharat Express (22439) will depart from New Delhi railway station at 6 AM and reach Shri Mata Vaishno Devi, Katra, at 2 PM. Along the way, the train will also halt at Ambala Cantt, Ludhiana, and Jammu Tawi for two minutes each.
Meanwhile, the return journey for train 22440 Katra-Delhi Vande Bharat Express will start at 3 PM from Katra to reach New Delhi station at 11 PM. Train 18 will ply six days of the week, barring Tuesday.
Bookings for the train service to Vaishno Devi shrine have already opened on September 29 on the official website of IRCTC at www.irctc.co.in. The minimum fare for travelling between New Delhi to Sri Mata Vaishno Devi Katra station in the chair car is Rs 1,630, while the fare for the executive chair car is priced at Rs 3,015.
The new train is more luxurious, with an all air-conditioned chair car arrangement. It has 16 coaches of an engine-less self-propelled trainset and has a bigger pantry compared to the first Vande Bharat Express.
The Indian Railways is also expected to manufacture 40 more versions of ‘Train 18’ by 2022, senior railway officials stated.