PM Modi Inaugurates Odisha's First Vande Bharat Express, Connecting Puri and Howrah

Prime Minister Narendra Modi officially opened the eagerly awaited Vande Bharat Express (22895/22896), which will run between Puri and Howrah, on Thursday. Passengers travelling between the two cities should experience this new train service as speedier and more comfortable.

PM’s Statement

Speaking on the occasion, PM Modi said, "People of Odisha and West Bengal are getting the gift of Vande Bharat train today. Vande Bharat Express is the symbol of modern India and aspirational Indians. When Vande Bharat travels from one place to another place, it represents the pace of progress of India."

"This is the time of Amril Kaal, the time to further strengthen the unity of India. The greater the unity, the greater the collective strength of India will reach. These Vande Bharat trains are also a reflection of this spirit," PM Modi added.

Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik’s Statement

Thanking PM Modi on the occasion, Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik said, "It is a matter of delight that the Vande Bharat Express between Puri and Howrah was launched by the Prime Minister."

"We are developing Puri as an international heritage site. Even I had a discussion with PM Modi regarding the Shree Jagannath Puri international airport. We will incorporate all the suggestions given by the PM for making it a world-class seaside airport. I am hopeful, with your cooperation and support within three-four years, the airport will be ready and you (PM Modi) will come to Shreekhetra to dedicate it to the nation," Patnaik added.

Here's the inauguration

Stops at key locations 

The recently introduced Vande Bharat Express will greatly enhance connectivity and completely change how customers travel. The train will run six days a week, except on Thursdays, and stop at seven locations.

The Vande Bharat Express, which has 16 coaches in total, will leave Howrah at 6:10 a.m. and arrive in Puri at 12:35 p.m. The return trip leaves Puri at 1:50 p.m. and arrives in Howrah at 8:30 p.m.

At Kharagpur, Balasore, Bhadrak, Jajpur-Keonjhar Road, Cuttack, Bhubaneswar, and Khurda Road, the train will halt. Only two minutes will pass with each interruption, ensuring prompt and effective operations.

Passengers' travel requirements will be met at these carefully chosen stops, which will also improve connectivity along the entire route. The Vande Bharat Express is anticipated to be well-liked by passengers due to its reasonable rates of 1,590 for a chair car and 2,815 for executive class, which include food services.

PM Modi's commitment to Odisha's railway development

Along with launching the Vande Bharat Express, Prime Minister Modi will also lay the cornerstone for the renovation of Puri and Cuttack railway stations and start a number of railway projects worth more than 8,000 crore in Odisha. According to PTI, this includes the commitment to fully electrify the rail network in Odisha, which will result in lower operating and maintenance expenses and less reliance on imported crude oil.

A new broad gauge rail line will be introduced between Angul and Sukinda; a third line will be established connecting Manoharpur-Rourkela-Jharsuguda-Jamga; and a new broad-gauge line will be built between Bichhupali and Jhartarbha. These projects are also on Prime Minister Modi's schedule. These initiatives seek to improve the region's rail infrastructure and connectivity, which will advance Odisha as a whole.