Vande Bharat Express, known as Train 18, has been inaugurated by Home Minister Amit Shah. Home Minister Amit Shah launched the Train 18 from Delhi.
The first commercial run of the Delhi-Katra Vande Bharat Express will be on October 5 and booking of tickets is open on the IRCTC website. The train will bring down the travel time between Delhi and Katra, the last station on the way to Vaishno Devi temple, to eight hours from 12 hours.
Speaking at the launch of the Vande Bharat Express, Home Minister Amit Shah said, “Delhi-Katra Vande Bharat Express is a big gift for Jammu and Kashmir’s development and for promoting religious tourism. He added that Article 370 was the biggest roadblock in Jammu and Kashmir’s development.” “Within 10 years, it will be one of the most developed regions,” Amit Shah said.
At the launch of the Delhi-Katra Vande Bharat Express, Union minister Piyush Goyal said the Railways will connect the country from Kashmir to Kanyakumari before 15th August, 2022.
Soon after the launch of the Vande Bharat Express, Prime Minister congratulated the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
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. The train will run on all days of the week except Tuesdays.
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.
The minimum fare for travelling between New Delhi (NDLS) to Sri Mata Vaishno Devi Katra (SVDK) will be Rs 1,630 and the maximum will be Rs 3,015.
The luxury all air-conditioned chair car service with 16 coaches is an engine-less self-propelled trainset which allows for faster acceleration and deceleration, therefore reducing travel time by 40%.
The new train has a bigger pantry compared to the first Train 18 or Vande Bharat Express. It also has windows with a special provision to protect against stone-pelting and a cattle guard in the front to prevent damage to the train or derailment in case of cattle run.