Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday, January 15, virtually flagged off the Vande Bharat train service between Secunderabad in Telangana and the port city of Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh on the occasion of Makar Sankranthi. The first Vande Bharat Express train to operate between the two Telugu states will run between Secunderabad and Visakhapatnam in eight hours and 30 minutes.
As the event coincided with Army Day, the Prime Minister paid tributes to the serving and retired personnel and hailed their commitment to protecting the country and its borders and said their valour was matchless. In his virtual address, Modi said Vande Bharat connects the cultures of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.
"Vande Bharat is a true replica of India which is coming out of the mentality of dependence and moving towards Atmanirbharta (self-reliance)," the PM said. The regular services of the train would start on January 16 and the bookings commenced on Saturday, railway sources said.
From Monday to Saturday, the Visakhapatnam-Secunderabad Vande Bharat Express (20833) will start at 5.45 am and reach Secunderabad at 2.15 pm. It will leave Secunderabad at 3 PM and reach Visakhapatnam at 11.30 PM. In between, the train will stop at Rajahmundry (7.55 am/8.58 pm), Vijayawada (10 am/7 pm), Khammam (11 am/5.45 pm) and Warangal (12.05 pm/4.35 pm) in both directions, South Central Railway (SCR) officials said.
The ticket from Secunderabad to Visakhapatnam costs Rs 1,665 in chair class and Rs 3,120 in executive class, including catering charges, while the fare in the return direction costs Rs 1,720 in chair class and Rs 3,170 in executive class. The difference in charges is because of food items included in the catering service.
The train comprises 14 economy AC chair car coaches and two executive AC chair car coaches with a total capacity of 1,128 passengers. The seating can accommodate 1,024 passengers in the 14 coaches of economy class, and 104 passengers in the two coaches of executive class.
It will provide the fastest travelling facility between these two stations, SCR officials said. The train is manufactured with indigenous technology, equipped with modern features and enhanced comfort. The train has automatic sliding doors, provided with reclining seats in all classes and rotating seats in executive class, they added.
Union Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, Union Tourism and Culture Minister G Kishan Reddy, and Telangana Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan were present at the Secunderabad railway station during the inauguration.
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