Kasaragod: Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagged off Kerala's second Vande Bharat Express, along with eight other trains, digitally on Sunday. The 530-seater train, which has eight coaches and 52 executive seats, will start its regular services on September 27.
The nine trains will provide faster connectivity across 11 states -- Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Bihar, West Bengal, Kerala, Odisha, Jharkhand and Gujarat.
The new Vande Bharat trains will run between Udaipur- Jaipur; Tirunelveli-Madurai-Chennai; Hyderabad- Bengaluru; Vijayawada-Chennai (via Renigunta); Patna -Howrah; Kasaragod-Thiruvananthapuram (via Alappuzha); Rourkela-Bhubaneswar-Puri; Ranchi- Howrah; and Jamnagar-Ahmedabad.
As compared to the current fastest trains on the Rourkela-Bhubaneswar-Puri and Kasaragod-Thiruvananthapuram routes, the Vande Bharat trains will cut travel time between respective destinations by about three hours; Hyderabad Bengaluru by more than 2.5 hours; Tirunelveli-Madurai- Chennai by more than 2 hours.
The travel time between Ranchi-Howrah, Patna-Howrah and Jamnagar-Ahmedabad will be reduced by about one hour.
The travel time between Udaipur and Jaipur will be reduced by about half an hour.
The Rourkela-Bhubaneswar-Puri and Tirunelveli-Madurai-Chennai trains will connect the important religious towns of Puri and Madurai.
Also, the Vijayawada-Chennai Vande Bharat Express will operate via the Renigunta route and will provide connectivity to the Tirupati.
These trains, equipped with world-class amenities and advanced safety features, including Kavach technology, will be a key step towards providing modern, speedy and comfortable means of travel, a statement issued by the Railways said.
(With PTI inputs)