New Delhi, 24th September 2023: Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated nine new Vande Bharat Express trains today through a virtual ceremony, marking a significant milestone in enhancing India’s rail connectivity. These trains are part of the Prime Minister’s broader vision to modernize the country’s railway network and offer world-class amenities to passengers.
Expanding the Vande Bharat Network
The newly launched routes include:
- Udaipur to Jaipur
- Tirunelveli to Madurai to Chennai
- Hyderabad to Bengaluru
- Vijayawada to Chennai via Renigunta
- Patna to Howrah
- Kasaragod to Thiruvananthapuram
- Rourkela to Bhubaneswar to Puri
- Ranchi to Howrah
- Jamnagar to Ahmedabad
A New Era in Rail Connectivity
During the launch, Prime Minister Modi described the event as a landmark moment in modernizing India’s connectivity infrastructure. “The rapid pace of infrastructure development aligns perfectly with the aspirations of 140 crore Indians,” he said. Modi highlighted that the new trains are equipped with advanced features, making them symbols of “New India’s” enthusiasm.
Record Passenger Numbers
The Prime Minister revealed that over 1.11 crore passengers have already traveled on Vande Bharat trains. With today’s addition, the total number of Vande Bharat trains serving various states and union territories has risen to 34. Modi expressed optimism that Vande Bharat trains would soon connect every corner of the country.
Economic and Social Impact
Modi emphasized the trains’ role in boosting tourism and economic activities in connected regions. He also praised the railway stations managed by women, citing it as a step towards women-led development.
The Prime Minister outlined various initiatives aimed at transforming Indian Railways, including the PM Gatishakti Masterplan for seamless infrastructure coordination and a new logistics policy to reduce transportation costs. He lamented the past neglect of the railway sector and informed that the current railway budget is eight times larger than that of 2014.
Modi announced a campaign to modernize railway stations across the country. He revealed that more than 500 major stations are already undergoing redevelopment and will be renamed as “Amrit Bharat Stations.”
Celebrating Railway Heritage
The Prime Minister expressed delight that Indian Railways has started celebrating the establishment days of various railway stations, with plans to expand this tradition further.
A Vision for All
Modi concluded by urging railway employees to focus on enhancing the passenger experience and called for collective efforts to achieve the goal of a developed India by 2047 through the principle of “Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas.”
Governors, Chief Ministers, Ministers, Members of Parliament, and Union Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw were among the dignitaries present during the virtual event.
The new Vande Bharat trains will serve 11 states and are expected to be the fastest on their respective routes, saving passengers considerable time. They will also connect important religious towns, further boosting tourism.