"Navratri Gift" For Jammu, Says PM On Launch Of New Vande Bharat Express

This is country's second such train. The first Vande Bharat Express on Delhi- Varanasi route began operations in February this year.

Vande Bharat Express can run up to a maximum speed of 160 kmph, making it India's fastest train.

New Delhi:

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today described the launch of the Vande Bharat Express on Delhi-Katra route as a "Navratri gift" to the people of Jammu and the pilgrims who visit the Vaishno Devi temple in the state. The prime minister said that the train will improve connectivity as well as spiritual tourism in Jammu and Kashmir.

"A Navratri gift for my sisters and brothers of Jammu as well as devotees of Maa Vaishno Devi! The New Vande Bharat Express from New Delhi to Maa Vaishno Devi, Katra will improve connectivity as well as spiritual tourism," PM Modi tweeted.

The semi-high speed train was flagged off by Home Minister Amit Shah at New Delhi railway station today. "I'm proud that this made-in-India train is being flagged-off from here today. The railway is working towards achieving its targets keeping in mind principles of speed, scale and service," the Home Minister said after showing green flag to the train at New Delhi railway station. 

The Vande Bharat Express, earlier known as Train 18, will ease travel to Katra for Maa Vaishno Devi devotees, the Indian Railways said. The train will start its commercial run from October 5.

The indigenously developed train can run up to a maximum speed of 160 kmph, making it India's fastest train.

Delhi-Katra Vande Bharat Express offers plush interiors and is equipped with wi-fi, bio vaccum toilets, GPS-based infotainment system, CCTV surveillance, among other features.

This is country's second Vande Bharat Express, the first -- on Delhi- Varanasi route -- began operations in February this year.