Vande Bharat Express also known as Train 18, has been inaugurated by Home Minister Amit Shah from Delhi.
The first commercial run of the Delhi-Katra Vande Bharat Express will start on October 5 and booking of tickets is open on the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC website). The train will cut down the travel time between Delhi and Katra, the final station on the way to Vaishno Devi temple, to eight hours from 12 hours.
Speaking at the launch of Train 18, Home Minister Amit Shah said, “Delhi-Katra Vande Bharat Express is a big gift for Jammu and Kashmir’s development and for promoting religious tourism. He added that Article 370 was the biggest roadblock in Jammu and Kashmir’s development.” “Within 10 years, it will be one of the most developed regions,” Amit Shah said.
Indian Railways should document its relationship with Mahatma Gandhi as it forms an important episode in the freedom struggle, Home Minister Amit Shah added. At the launch of the Delhi-Katra Vande Bharat Express, Union minister Piyush Goyal added that the Railways will connect the country from Kashmir to Kanyakumari before 15th August 2022.
Soon after the launch of the Vande Bharat Express, Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated the people of 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. Congratulations to everyone! #VandeBharatMaaKeDwar,” he tweeted.
Train number ‘22439’ New Delhi-Katra Vande Bharat Express will start from the New Delhi railway station at 6 am to reach the final destination Katra at 2 pm. The train will operate on all days of the week except Tuesdays.
En route, the train will stop at Ambala Cantt, Ludhiana and Jammu Tawi for 2 minutes each. As far as the return journey is concerned, on the same day, train number 22440 Katra-New Delhi Vande Bharat Express will depart from the Katra railway station at 3 pm to reach the New Delhi railway station at 11 pm.
The minimum fare- Rs 1,630, maximum fare- Rs 3,015.