New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Dehradun-Delhi Vande Bharat train via video conferencing on Thursday. This semi-high-speed train is the first-of-its-kind in Uttarakhand and is expected to provide a new level of comfortable travel experience, particularly for tourists visiting the state. "Uttarakhand is getting its first Vande Bharat Express today from Dehradun to Delhi. This Express train will reduce the travelling time of the people," said Modi at the inauguration.
PM Modi also dedicated to the nation the newly electrified rail sections and declared Uttarakhand a 100 percent electric traction state. With this, the state now has its entire rail route 100 percent electrified. Stressing on the role modern infrastructure will play in shaping India of the 21st century, Modi said, "The 21st century India can develop more rapidly by modernising its infrastructure."
Training his guns at the Opposition, Modi said that railway infrastructure development suffered during the tenure of the previous governments. "The previous governments also made lofty claims regarding high speed trains in India. Many years have passed since they made these claims. Leave aside the high speed trains; they could not even remove unmanned level crossings from the rail network. The situation of railway electrification was even worse. By 2014, only one-third of the country's rail network had been electrified. In such a situation, it was impossible to even think of running a fast train. We started all-round work to transform the Railways after 2014," said the PM.
"When, on an average, 600 km of rail lines were electrified every year before 2014, now 6,000 kilometres of railway lines are being electrified every year. See the difference between 600 kms and 6000 kms. As a result, more than 90 percent of the country's railway network has been electrified. In Uttarakhand, 100 percent electrification of the entire rail network has been achieved," Modi said.
The Delhi-Dehradun Vande Bharat train will connect people from three states: Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and Delhi. This train will not just facilitate tourism, but it will also add impetus to trade and business-related activities. The train has a GPS Passenger Information system, touch-free toilets, Wi-Fi and infotainment facilities, an anti-collision avoidance system, facilities to talk to drivers or guards, and CCTVs.
According to IRCTC, the inaugural Vande Bharat train in Uttarakhand will operate between Dehradun and Delhi. The semi-high-speed train is scheduled to depart from Dehradun railway station at 7:00 am and is expected to arrive in Delhi at 11:45 am.
Following its departure from Dehradun, the Vande Bharat train will have stoppages at various stations, including Haridwar junction (at 8:04 am), Roorkee (at 8:49 am), Saharanpur (at 9:27 am), Muzaffarnagar (at 10:07 am), and Meerut City (at 10:37 am), before finally reaching Delhi's Anand Vihar Terminal at 11:45 am. For the return journey from Delhi to Dehradun, the train will leave at 5:50 pm and arrive in the capital of Uttarakhand at 10:35 pm.
The IRCTC website also said that the train will start on May 29 and will cover a distance of 302 kilometres in 4 hours and 45 minutes. It also said, "For an AC chair car ticket from Delhi to Dehradun, the passenger will have to give Rs 1,065, while an executive chair car ticket will cost Rs 1,890."
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