Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Thursday flagged off the inaugural run of Vande Bharat Express (Train 18) between New Delhi and Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Katra.
Shah was accompanied by Union Ministers Piyush Goyal, Harsh Vardhan, Jitendra Singh and officials from the Indian Railways at the New Delhi junction for the flagging off event.
Thanking the Indian Railways for the on-time completion of the project, Shah said, “I want to thank the Indian Railways from the core of my heart for giving this gift to Jammu and Kashmir in the auspicious occasion of Navratri. I am proud that this made in India train is being flagged-off from here today. The railways is working towards achieving its targets keeping in mind the principles of speed, scale and service.”
He added that the project will serve as a medium for the development of the region by boosting religious tourism.
“For the development of Jammu and Kashmir religious tourism will play a big part, there cannot be any village in India where people do not want to go to Mata Vaishno Devi temple,” he said.
Earlier on Tuesday, the Railways said that the train will start its commercial run between New Delhi and Katra on October 5.
The train will ply throughout the week except for Tuesday.
It will comprise of two Executive AC Chair Car and 12 Chair Car coaches, with stops at Ambala Cantt, Ludhiana, and Jammu Tawi railway stations.
The train journey between New Delhi to Sri Mata Vaishno Devi Katra will cost Rs 1,630 in Chair Car coaches and Rs 3,015 in Executive AC Chair Car coaches.