Bhubaneswar: Odisha is set to witness a significant development in its transportation sector with the launch of the much-awaited Vande Bharat Express train between Puri and Howrah.
The train is expected to begin its regular service between Puri and Howrah via the Odisha capital, Bhubaneswar, in May. Ahead of the official launch, a full-fledged trial run has been scheduled on Friday, which will cover a round trip from Howrah to Puri and back.
The Vande Bharat Express train is a high-end superfast train, capable of reaching a maximum speed of 180 kmph. It is set to be the ninth Vande Bharat train, and it is likely to be flagged off by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in May.
The train is expected to have 14 AC chair car coaches and two executive AC chair car coaches, with a capacity of 1,128 passengers, said sources.
During the trial run, the train will make stops at Kharagpur, Bhadrak, Jajpur, Cuttack, Bhubaneswar, and Khurda. The train is scheduled to leave Howrah at 6.10 am and reach Puri at 12.35 pm, where it will halt for a while before returning to Howrah at 1.50 pm and reaching its destination at 8.30 pm, the sources said.
The preliminary work for the launch of the Vande Bharat Express train service is underway, with coaches manufactured at the Integral Coach Factory in Chennai being sent to Kolkata for primary maintenance. Subsequently, these coaches will be brought to Odisha for secondary maintenance before being ready for inauguration.
The introduction of the Vande Bharat Express train service on the Puri-Howrah route is expected to benefit Odisha, especially the seaside pilgrim town of Puri, famous for the Shree Jagannath Temple that attracts visitors from across the country. The state is expected to get more such services in the coming years, with the government planning to run 400 Vande Bharat trains across the country in the next three years.
West Bengal will also have two Vande Bharat Express trains, with the other one being the Howrah-New Jalpaiguri service that was launched on December 30, last year. The Vande Bharat Express is a part of the government’s initiative to upgrade the country’s railway network, bringing in advanced technology and making travel faster and more comfortable.
The trial run of the Vande Bharat Express train between Puri and Howrah is a significant milestone in the development of Odisha’s transportation sector. With its high-speed, state-of-the-art features and comfortable amenities, the Vande Bharat Express is set to provide a new level of travel experience for passengers. Its launch is eagerly awaited and is expected to further boost the country’s railway network.