New Delhi: In good news for lakhs of pilgrims visiting the holy shrine of Vaishno Devi, the Indian Railways is all set to start operations Vande Bharat Express train between New Delhi and Katra during Navratras, Minister of Railways and Commerce & Industry, Piyush Goyal said on Wednesday.
Goyal confirmed the news via his tweet:
मुझे यह सूचित करते हुए अत्यंत खुशी हो रही है कि, आधुनिकतम और मेक इन इंडिया के तहत बनी दूसरी वंदे भारत एक्सप्रेस का नई दिल्ली से माँ वैष्णो देवी के पावन स्थल कटरा तक ट्रायल रन पूरा हो चुका है और माता के भक्तों के लिए यह ट्रेन नवरात्रो में शुरू कर दी जाएगी।
जय माता दी pic.twitter.com/U3RcCxOYUi
— Piyush Goyal (@PiyushGoyal) September 18, 2019
Indian Railway Board chairman Vinod Kumar Yadav on Tuesday had said thats said that the Delhi-Katra Vande Bharat train trials have been finished and it will be a gift to pilgrims. He also added that Railways is trying to upgrade the busy routes. Delhi-Mumbai and Delhi-Howrah will be ready by December 2021.
Yadav said that 40 Vande Bharat trains will come out by 2022. Railways is working on new specifications for the trains.
He also added that there would be transparency and it will be a 'Make in India' project. The train's tendering process was recently mired in controversy when it was alleged that the process indulged in favouritism and non-transparency.
However, after Railway Minister Piyush Goyal’s intervention, the Railway Board started the new tendering process for resuming the production of Vande Bharat Express trains. Infact, Chairman Railway Board has also added that the delay in production of Vande Bharat Express is due to change in both technical specifications and for the lack of transparency.
Earlier, Zee Media had reported that the time table of the train has been finalised by the authorities. The train will start from New Delhi junction at 6 am and will reach Katra at 2 pm the same day. The train will travel via Ambala, Ludhiana and Jammu Tawi.
As per the time table, the train will reach Ambala junction at 8.10 am, Ludhiana junction at 9.22 am and Jammu Tawi at 12.40 pm. The stoppage time for the train at each of the station will be two minutes.
On the down route, the train will depart from Katra at 3 pm and reach New Delhi at 11 pm. Timing for other stations are: Jammu Tawi – 4.18 pm, Ludhiana – 7.36 pm and Ambala – 8.56 pm. The stoppage time will remain two minutes for each station.
As of now, Vande Bharat Express runs between New Delhi and Varanasi.