Union Home Minister Amit Shah flagged off the Delhi-Katra Vande Bharat Express today from the New Delhi Railway Station and said it was a “big gift” for Jammu and Kashmir’s development.
Terming it as a big gift for Jammu and Kashmir’s development and for promoting religious tourism, Shah also said that Article 370 was the “biggest roadblock” in the state’s development and within 10 years, it will be one of the most developed regions of the country.
Train number 22439 New Delhi-Katra Vande Bharat Express will depart from the New Delhi Railway Station at 6 am to reach Katra at 2 pm. En route, the train will halt at Ambala Cantt, Ludhiana and Jammu Tawi for two minutes each. On the return journey the same day, train number 22440 Katra-New Delhi ‘Vande Bharat’ Express will leave from the Katra Railway Station at 3 pm to reach the New Delhi Railway Station at 11 pm. Train will ply on all days of the week except for Tuesday.
The high-speed train will bring down the travel time between Delhi and Katra, the last station on way to the Vaishno Devi temple, to 8 hours from the current twelve hours. The first commercial run of the train will be on 5th of this month and booking of tickets is now open on the IRCTC website.
Railways Minister Piyush Goyal who was also present on the occasion said that Railways will connect the entire country from Kashmir to Kanyakumari before 15th August, 2022. Health and Family Welfare Minister Dr. Harshvardhan was also present on the occasion
Just like first Vande Bharat Express, the railways has not applied the dynamic fare principle on this new train for Delhi to Katra. The first Vande Bharat Express was stared between Delhi to Varanasi in February this year.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi described the launch of the Delhi-Katra Vande Bharat Express as a Navratri gift for devotees of Vaishno Devi. Mr Modi tweeted, a Navratri gift for my sisters and brothers of Jammu as well as devotees of Maa Vaishno Devi! He said, the New Vande Bharat Express from New Delhi to Maa Vaishno Devi, Katra will improve connectivity as well as spiritual tourism.