Visakhapatnam: A new train connecting Andhra Pradesh to New Delhi was flagged off by Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu on Wednesday.
Visakhapatnam-New Delhi-Visakhapatnam Super Fast AC AP Express began its maiden journey from this coastal city with the minister flagging off the train through video linking from Rail Bhavan in New Delhi.
The tri-weekly express will leave from Vizag, as the coastal city is also called, every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday at 7.45 a.m. and will reach New Delhi at 7 p.m. the next day.
It will stop at Duvvada, Vijayawada, Anakapalli, Samalkot, Rajahmundry, Tadepalligudem and Eluru in Andhra Pradesh and Khammam, Warangal, Peddapalli, Ramagundum and Sirpur Kagaznagar in Telangana.
It will also stop at Balharshah, Chandrapur, Nagpur JN, Itarsi, Bhopal, Jhansi, Gwalior and Agra Cantt., taking over 36 hours to cover the 2,099 km distance.
The train will leave from New Delhi every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 6.40 a.m.
Though it was originally proposed to run the AP Express from New Delhi to Vijayawada on a daily basis, as announced in the railway budget 2014-15, following persistent demands from leaders from Vizag it was decided that the train will originate from the coastal city and run via Vijayawada.
Prabhu said that with the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh, separate trains were sanctioned for the two states. He said the Vizag-Delhi train was launched in tune with the aspirations of the people of Andhra Pradesh.
He also announced that the existing AP Express between Hyderabad and New Delhi will now be called Telangana Express. However, officially this will come into effect only from November 15.
The existing AP Express is a daily train, connecting Hyderabad with the national capital.
Urban Development Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu said discussions were on to make Vizag a separate railway zone.
The ceremony in Delhi was also attended by union Ministers Ashok Gajapati Raju, Y.S. Chowdary and Bandaru Dattatreya, while MPs and state ministers from coastal Andhra were present at Vizag railway station.