Home Minister Amit Shah flags off the New Delhi-Katra ‘Vande Bharat’ Express

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New Delhi: Union Minister for Home Affairs, Shri Amit Shah flagged off the New Delhi-Katra ‘Vande Bharat’ Express in New Delhi today in presence of Minister of Railways and Commerce & Industry, Shri Piyush Goyal, Minister for Health & Family Welfare, Science & Technology and Earth Sciences, Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Minister of State for Development of North Eastern Region (I/C), Prime Minister’s Office, Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr. Jitendra Singh, Minister of State of Railways, Shri Suresh C. Angadi. Chairman, Railway Board, Shri Vinod Kumar Yadav, other Members of Railway Board and General Manager, Northern Railway were also present on the occasion. This is the second ‘Vande Bharat’ express after the New Delhi – Varanasi semi-high speed train flagged off by Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi in February this year. The coaches of this train are indigenously manufactured at the Chennai Rail coach factory.

Speaking on the occasion, Shri Amit Shah congratulated the Ministry of Railways for giving a big gift to the people of the country, in this Navratras. He said that religious tourism has a very important role in the development and progress of Jammu-Kashmir. Every citizen of India has a desire to visit Vaishno devi Temple at least once in the lifetime. From the day he took charge, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi put forward a vision to connect places of religious interest across the country with a safe, efficient and comfortable high-speed railway network. A number of steps have already been taken by the government to facilitate pilgrims to visit the places of their religious interest. The ‘Vande Bharat’ express is one big step in that direction while keeping in mind speed, scale and service as the prime priority, he said.

Shri Shah said that PM visualises Railways as the lifeline to achieve his vision of a $5 trillion economy. ‘Vande Bharat’ is a hallmark of the success of ‘Make in India’ and the potential that it holds in giving a boost to the economy. This is evident with the speed at which the development and modernisation of railways is taking place under Shri Modi’s leadership, he added. Home Minister said, “Railways must keep this fast paced development profile going on in full steam and achieve Prime Minister’s vision of a $5 trillion economy”.

Remembering Mahatma Gandhi on his 150th anniversary, Shri Shah said that Bapu gave a philosophy to the world of how to derive simple solutions to the biggest of problems. One such philosophy during the freedom movement was ‘Swadeshi’ and railways played an integral part in Gandhiji’s struggle for freedom by forming a connect with the people of India, he said. Shri Shah expressed pride in saying that this ‘Vande Bharat’ express is totally ‘Swadeshi’ and is at par with the latest rail transport technology across the world. This train is a big tribute that Shri Modi has given to the ideals of Bapu, with his vision of ‘Make in India’, he added. The Home Minister urged the Railway Minister to chart out the role of Railways in Gandhiji’s journey during the freedom struggle, during the ‘[email protected]’ celebrations.

Speaking on the removal of Article 370, Shri Shah said that Article 370 was a roadblock in Jammu-Kashmir’s development and its true integration with India. He expressed confidence that after its removal, the evil of terrorism would be completely eliminated from Jammu Kashmir. “I believe that in the next 10 years, Kashmir would be the leading state on development parameters. The beginning has happened with the flagging off of the Vande Bharat express. It is a big gift from PM Modi to the people of J&K by bringing development in the state and giving a boost to religious tourism there “, he said.

Concluding his address, Shri Shah expressed great satisfaction on the way Railways is getting transformed on the lines of ‘Make in India’ and making an unprecedented contribution in the growth of the economy.

Speaking on the occasion, Minister of Railways and Commerce & Industry, Shri Piyush Goyal said that “Today, Vande Bharat is going to be launched between New Delhi to Katra on the auspicious occasion of Navratri in the presence of Hon’ble Home Minister of India, Shri Amit Shah. The blessing of Mata Vaishno Devi will give a thrust to the development of Jammu Kashmir and Vande Bharat is an example of that development which is going to start its journey today. The entire family of Indian Railways assure that Indian Railways will always assist Hon’ble Minister of Home Affairs in this series of development of Jammu Kashmir. Vande Bharat will serve like Shravankumar, it will help common people take their parents to Katra. Today I applaud the efforts of employees of Indian Railways who are working in the arrangement of this train. As aspired by Hon’ble Prime Minister that stations will be converted into the hub of technology and expansion of Indian Railways will connect villages to the rest of the country. Today, 5000 stations have been equipped with the free Wi-Fi facilities. Indian Railways has also succeeded in making its all stations healthy and clean and Indian Railways has conducted cleanliness programme across 6500 stations. Under the direction of Hon’ble Home Minister in regard to safety, Indian Railways has installed CCTV in trains and stations which will provide a safe environment to the railway passengers. Shri Goyal thanked all railway employees for their effort in the development of India and wished Vande Bharat run in every corner of the country.

Speaking on the occasion, Minister for Health & Family Welfare, Science & Technology and Earth Sciences, Dr. Harsh Vardhan said that ‘At the outset, I would like to congratulate the Indian Railways on the achievement of this project. I believe, the Vande Bharat is best in class technology in compared to other modern trains. Dr. Harsh Vardhan praised the effort of Indian Railways for furnishing the state-of-the-art facilities. Indian Railways has provisioned all its stations with escalators, waiting-room with class features, LED lights, special toilets, digital board at the entrance and exit. Indian Railways has brought a sea-change in the development of trains and stations.

Speaking on the occasion, The Minister of State for Development of North Eastern Region (I/C), Prime Minister’s Office, Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr. Jitendra Singh said that modern technologies have been introduced in the railways by the Government under the leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. He said first such train named Vande Bharat Express from Delhi-Varanasi was flagged off by the Prime Minister earlier this year and this is the second such train which will connect Delhi with Katra. The Minister said that Katra is not only a tourist destination, our faith is associated with it. Dr Jitendra Singh, who holds the charge of Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), said that Kamakhya-Katra Weekly Express train was flagged off by the Prime Minister in the year 2016. The train connects two religious places of the country, he added. The Minister added that train journey is not only a journey for us, but manifestation of our sentiments. Speaking about the recent developments in J&K, Dr Jitendra Singh said the Government took a decisive step on 5th August this year by abrogating the Article 370 in Jammu & Kashmir. Flagging off the Delhi-Katra train is the second gift by the Prime Minister, he added. He said that these steps will provide new opportunities to J&K, which were hitherto deprived. The Minister said that this train will carry the message of PM’s ‘New India’ to Jammu and Kashmir.

Minister of State of Railways in his statement said that as our Prime Minister dreamt of providing first class facilities to every poor of the country, Indian Railways is today going to gift Vande Bharat between New Delhi to Katra to the nation. Indian Railway is fully on the path of modernization, integrating the best technologies for smooth operation of trains. In this direction, the team of Indian Railways will always work together to ensure this. I wish every success to Officers and Engineers of Indian Railways.

Speaking on the occasion Chairman, Railway Board, Shri Vinod Kumar Yadav welcomed the Hon’ble Minister of Home Affairs, Minister of Railways and Commerce & Industry, other dignitaries and all the employees of Indian Railways in the launch of Vande Bharat. He said that we are fortunate that the second Vande Bharat is going to be flagged off by Hon’ble Minister of Home Affairs. Indian Railways has today brought in modern technology in the operation of trains. The first Vande Bharat had been flagged off last year by Prime Minister of India. Today by the launch of Vande Bharat, railway passenger will get speedy travel to Jammu Kashmir. It is capable of running at high speed. Indian Railways has also performed its best in Swachchta. Indian Railways is committed to offer modern facilities to railway passenger.

Salient features & Backgrounder:-

Speed, Scale and Service are the hallmarks of this Make-in-India success story. The first Vande Bharat Express, New Delhi to Varanasi was flagged off on 15th Feb. 2019 by Hon’ble Prime Minister with service on all days except Monday and Thursday. Vande Bharat Express has been tested at 180 kmph and can run upto maximum speed of 160 kmph on passenger service. The Vande Bharat Express has more seating capacity that the conventional Shatabdi train with equal number of coaches. The train has 16 highly advanced air-conditioned coaches including 02 executive class coaches. All Coaches are equipped with automatic doors; GPS based audio-visual passenger information system, onboard hotspot, wi-fi for entertainment purposes, and very comfortable seating. The chairs in executive class can rotate freely to face the direction of motion or the fellow co-passengers. All toilets are Bio-vacuum type. The lighting is dual mode, viz. Diffused for general illumination and personal for every seat. Every coach as a pantry with facility to serve hot meals with hot and cold beverages. Advance insulation has been provided to keep heat and noise to very low levels for additional passenger comfort. Facility for Divyangjan to enter Driving Trailer coach using wheelchair and persons with disabilities friendly toilets have also been provided.

The train has continuous windows for modern and sleek look. Aerodynamic shape of the nose cone and fully sealed gangway are in line with the overall theme of the modern train set and will lead to lowered energy requirement by reduction of air drag. As another step toward green initiatives, the train has been provided with regenerative brake system which can lead to savings of up to 30% in electrical energy consumption.

The present Vande Bharat to Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Katra shall be running at a maximum speed of 130 km on this route and shall cover the distance between New Delhi-Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Katra in 08 hours. A reduction of 4 hours from the current fastest train, will thus be achieved. This will meet the demand of passengers for a high speed, direct and premier service to Katra from New Delhi.

More features have been incorporated in this rail service to Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Katra to increase passenger comfort. The area for the pantry facilities has been increased, deep freezers have been added, there is wider access area in vestibules, anti-spall film has been provided on window glasses, individual access panel for window blinds, improvements in washroom amenities, provision of centralized loading of infotainment data, etc. Roller blind sun screen has been provided on look out glass to protect train pilots from glare and improved insulation is there to reduce noise level in driver’s cab. Phone handsets have been provided for direct communication between train pilots and guard.

The train has been the outcome of project undertaken by Indian Railways to fulfill the Prime Minister’s vision of Make-in-India. The features and amenities of the train match global standards of performance, safety and passenger comfort, with all the major systems being designed and made in India. A quantum jump in meeting aspirations of the travelling public has been achieved. It is anticipated that the advance features and passenger amenities shall provide world class travel experience to passengers and devotees. It is in the fitness of things that this train is being started on the auspicious occasion of Navratra.

Schedule of 22439/22440 New Delhi – Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Katra – New Delhi Vande Bharat Express Train

The regular service of 22439/22440 New Delhi – Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Katra- New Delhi Vande Bharat Express Train will commence from 05.10.2019.

The 22439 New Delhi – Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Katra Vande Bharat Express Train will depart from New Delhi at 06.00 a.m. to reach Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Katra at 02.00 p.m. the same day. In return direction, the 22440 Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Katra – New Delhi Vande Bharat Express Train will depart from Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Katra at 03.00 p.m. to reach New Delhi at 11.00 p.m. the same day. The Train will run six days a week except Tuesday . Comprising of 02 Executive AC Chair Car & 12 Chair Car coaches, the Train will stop at Ambala Cantt., Ludhiana & Jammu Tawi stations enroute in both the directions.

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