Prime Minister Narendra Modi flags off Vande Bharat Express in Thiruvananthapuram

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagged off the Vande Bharath Express at the Central Railway station in Thiruvananthapuram

Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagged off the Vande Bharath Express at the Central Railway station in Thiruvananthapuram
| Photo Credit: Mahinsha S

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday flagged off Kerala’s first Vande Bharat Express at 11.10 a.m. from the Thiruvananthapuram Central Railway Station.

The semi-high-speed, fully-air conditioned train service, covering 11 districts, links capital Thiruvananthapuram in the south to Kasaragod in the north of the State.

Flag off

Union Minister for Railways Ashwini Vaishnaw handed over a green flag to the PM who waved it and saw the train off on its inaugural trip. Governor Arif Mohammed Khan, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, Union Minister for Railways Ashwini Vaishnaw and Shashi Tharoor MP were present on the occasion.

Earlier, Mr. Modi had arrived in Thiruvananthapuram from Kochi shortly after 10 p.m. From the the Technical Area of the Thiruvananthapuram airport, he had gone straight to the Central Railway Station at Thampanoor, which has been under tight security cover in anticipation of his visit.

Along the route from the airport to the city, Mr. Modi was greeted by hundreds of people who thronged the footpaths.

On his arrival at the station, he entered the Vande Bharat Express and interacted with selected school students who were given an opportunity to ride on the inaugural trip. Mr. Modi was seen speaking to the smiling children, shaking hands with them and checking out their art works of the Vande Bharat Express and of himself.

Inaugural service

The inaugural service will have stops at 14 railway stations. Souvenir passes for travel had been issued to groups including prominent personalities, rail enthusiasts, school students and journalists.

The train will begin regular operation on the Kasaragod-Thiruvananthapuram route on April 26 and and on the Thiruvananthapuram-Kasaragod corridor on April 28.

Bookings had been opened on Sunday morning. It will run on all days except Thursdays.

Train No. 20633 will leave Kasaragod at 2.30 p.m. on and from April 26 and reach Thiruvananthapuram Central at 10.35 p.m. the same day. In the return direction, Train No. 20634 will leave Thiruvananthapuram Central at 5.20 a.m. on and from April 28 and reach Kasaragod at 1.25 p.m. the same day.

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