Vande Bharat Trains Set for Odisha Debut, New Puri-Howrah Route to Take India Count to 16

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated five pairs of Vande Bharat trains across the country in April. The latest was in Kerala on April 25, 2023. (PTI)

According to Railway Ministry officials, Vande Bharat will be flagged off in Odisha next month on the Puri-Howrah route. It will be the first Vande Bharat train not just for Odisha, but also for the South Eastern Railway

After making their debuts in Rajasthan and Kerala, Vande Bharat trains will soon roll into Odisha, with Railway Ministry officials confirming to News18 that the coastal state will welcome the first of the premium trains next month. The train will run between West Bengal’s Howrah and Puri in Odisha, an official said.

Speaking to News18, a ministry official said empty rakes of the Vande Bharat trains reached West Bengal on Thursday. “In the coming days, we will be having the trail run of the Vande Bharat train,” the official added, requesting anonymity.

The demand for Vande Bharat services in Odisha has been a long-pending one. In November last year, Union Minister for Railways Ashwini Vaishnaw had announced that the Vande Bharat Express will be introduced in Odisha in 2023.

It will be the first Vande Bharat train not just for Odisha, but also for the South Eastern Railway. This will also be the second Vande Bharat for West Bengal. In December last year, the state had got its first Vande Bharat train.

The Railway Ministry official quoted above said the exact route and timing of the train is yet to be finalised.

Currently, the Puri-Howrah route is serviced by a Shatabdi train. With six stoppages, the train takes eight hours from Puri and 7.35 hours from Howrah to complete the journey.

After missing the targets for the last financial year, the Railway Ministry has now geared up for the production and delivery of the Vande Bharat trains. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has inaugurated five pairs of Vande Bharat trains across the country in April alone.

On April 1, a Vande Bharat train between Rani Kamalapati and Delhi was inaugurated. On April 8, two sets of trains – Secunderabad-Tirupati and Chennai-Coimbatore – were launched. On April 12, the Ajmer-Delhi Cantonment Vande Bharat was flagged off. On April 25, the Thiruvananthapuram-Kasaragod Vande Bharat was launched.

With this, the total number of Vande Bharat trains running across India will reach 16.

At present, five Vande Bharat trains are operational from Delhi to Ajmer, Varanasi, Vaishno Devi in Katra, Bhopal and Amb Andaura. Three are operational from Mumbai to Gandhinagar, Shirdi and Solapur and two from Chennai to Mysore and Coimbatore.

Vande Bharat trains are also operational on Bilaspur-Nagpur, Howrah-New Jalpaiguri, Secunderabad-Tirupati, Secunderabad-Visakhapatnam and Thiruvananthapuram-Kasaragod routes.

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Nivedita SinghNivedita Singh is a data journalist and covers the Election Commission, Indian Railways and Ministry of Road Transport and Highways. She has nearly se…Read More



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