Kerala’s second Vande Bharat Express train is set to operate six days a week, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi scheduled to inaugurate the Kasaragod – Thiruvananthapuram route via video conference on Sunday afternoon. The inauguration event will take place at the Palakkad Railway Divisional Office Headquarters.
This upcoming Sunday will witness the inauguration of nine Vande Bharat Express trains, including Kerala’s. Following the inauguration, a special service from Palakkad to Thiruvananthapuram will be introduced, with no service available on Monday. Regular service is expected to commence on Tuesday or Wednesday.
The first Vande Bharat Express sporting the distinctive orange-gray color has been handed over to the loco pilots of the Palakkad division. It departed from Chennai Central at 2:40 pm and is set to arrive in Thiruvananthapuram the next morning. The train underwent a test run on the Chennai-Katpadi route on Tuesday at 10:30 pm.
The journey from Kasaragod to Thiruvananthapuram includes nine stops, with an 8-hour duration for the northbound trip and 7 hours and 55 minutes for the return journey. Services will not be available on Monday for Kasaragod and on Tuesday for Thiruvananthapuram due to maintenance.
The train schedule includes both morning and evening journeys, with various stops along the way. Facilities on board are expected to increase, and ticket prices will be reduced for travel from Ernakulam to the north. The fare for Executive Class will decrease by Rs 90, and the rate for the chair car will be reduced by Rs 40. The current fares for Thiruvananthapuram-Ernakulam are Rs. 1260 for Executive Class and Rs. 617 for chair car.
The service’s route through Alappuzha will reduce the distance traveled by 16 km. Significant changes have been made compared to the current Vande Bharat Express, including alterations to seat arrangements, toilets, and the inclusion of mobile chargers under the seats. This new Vande Bharat Express is expected to be the most profitable service of its kind in the country, contributing to Kerala’s transportation network.