Vande Bharat Express to Katra fully booked for inaugural commercial run on October 5

Mamuni Das New Delhi | Updated on October 03, 2019 Published on October 03, 2019

New Delhi-Katra Vande Bharat Express   -  PTI

Kanya Kumari and Kashmir will soon be connected by rail, said Railway Minister Piyush Goyal

The inaugural run of Vande Bharat Express between Delhi and Katra, which will start from October 5 (Saturday) and connect the two places in eight hours, is fully booked.

The train to Katra, located in Jammu region of Jammu and Kashmir, is important as Katra also has the Mata Vaishno Devi temple, a religious pilgrimage site. Tickets for both the pricey executive class travel and cheaper chair car have gone into waiting list for the inaugural run.

At present, there are over a dozen trains on this route, which take a longer time between the stations. Most of trains connecting Delhi and Katra in Jammu are fully booked. The New Delhi-Katra Vande Bharat Express will also connect Ambala, Ludhiana and Jammu Tawi in shorter times.

Ahead of the commercial run, Home Minister Amit Shah flagged off the second Vande Bharat Express train-set, here on Thursday. The launch coincides with Navratri, a nine day festival in the run up to Diwali, the festival of lights.

Connecting Kashmir

Kanya Kumari  and Kashmir will soon be connected by rail, said Railway Minister Piyush Goyal, adding that the Kashmir valley will be connected with rest of India through a rail link before August 15, 2020. At present, the Indian Railways network is connected upto Katra in Jammu.

Then, there are train services on a railway network in the Kashmir valley as well. But, the Kashmir valley rail network is not connected to Katra yet, which prevents trains originating in Kashmir from making an uninterrupted journey to the remaining parts of India. The Katra-Banihal (Kashmir-located railway station) rail link includes the rail bridge on Chenab river.

Vande Bharat: Version 2

To cover Delhi and Katra in eight hours, people have to pay at least Rs 1,600 or maximum of about Rs 3000. Fares are lower for the economy class (chair car) and higher for the business class (executive class). The chairs in executive class can be rotated to face the windows, and allow the aisle as well as window side passengers to view the countryside.

The second version of the train has a bigger pantry space, allowing the on board service staff to keep the food to be served in fridges and heat them in ovens. It has cattle guards to protect the semi-high speed train from being damaged in case of any accidents. Moreover, the train's windows have been special films to protect the train against any stone-hits or stone pelters.

Like the previous train, the entire train is connected. Continuing with government mission of making the country open defecation free, the toilets are vacuum based toilets and do not empty on to the train tracks, preventing the tracks and stations from being dirty.

Published on October 03, 2019
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