PM flags off Vande Bharat Express from Mangaluru to Goa

Mangaluru Central-Madgaon Vande Bharat Express began its inaugural run after Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagged off six VB trains across India from Ayodhya, on December 30, 2023.
| Photo Credit: Anil Kumar Sastry

The Vande Bharat (VB) Express to Madgaon left Mangaluru Central railway station at 12.10 p.m. after being flagged off by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, through video conferencing, from Ayodhaya Dham Junction in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh. This express train was flagged off along with five other VB express trains, including one from Coimbatore Junction in Tamil Nadu to Bengaluru Cantonment, and two Amrit Bharat trains, including one from Malda in West Bengal to SMVT-Bengaluru.

All the eight coaches of the Vande Bharat Express to Madgaon were filled with passengers on the inaugural run. Most of the passengers were issued souvenir tickets. Passengers, who included several elected representatives and officials, boarded the train at 10.30 a.m. Soon thereafter, the doors of the coaches were closed, and passengers waited for the Prime Minister to flag off the train.

The flag off was delayed because the Prime Minister held a road show in Ayodhya. Eventually, the Prime Minister flagged off all the trains around noon.

C. Dinesan and S.H. Padwal were the loco pilots while Yogesh Bandekar and Girish Phayde were the Assistant Loco Pilots for the inaugural run of the VB Express from Mangaluru to Madgaon. All of them are from Konkan Railway Corporation.

A good number of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) activists travelled in the train till Madgaon, including Mangaluru city MLAs D. Vedavyasa Kamath and Y. Bharath Shetty, Dakshina Kannada Member of Parliament Nalin Kumar Kateel, and BJP MLC Pratap Simha Nayak.

Because of the delayed departure, some passengers de-boarded at Mangaluru Central Railway Station. Several passengers travelled in the VB Express till Udupi.

Earlier, addressing the people who had gathered for the inaugural run, Mr. Kateel said, “The VB Express will leave Mangaluru Central at 8.30 a.m. and reach Madgaon at 1.10 p.m. From Madgaon, another VB Express leaves for Mumbai at 2.40 p.m. A commuter who boards VB in the morning from Mangaluru can reach Mumbai in 10 hours.”

The MP has demanded another VB Express between Mangaluru and Kochi in Kerala. A VB Express between Mangaluru and Bengaluru is expected to be launched in April 2024 once electrification on the entire stretch is completed by March 2024.

Mr Kateel became emotional while speaking about the work he has done in his three terms as MP. “There is lot of criticism about my work. I have taken it in my stride, and I have continued to serve the people,” he said and added that projects amounting to ₹83,000 crore had been executed in his 15 years as MP. In the last five years, work amounting to ₹2,600 crore had been taken up, he said.

3 new trains for Karnataka

Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagged off 6 Vande Bharat trains, 2 Amrit Bharat trains, and inaugurated the redeveloped Ayodhya Dham railway station on December 30.

The trains that will serve the people of Karnataka are the Coimbatore Junction – Bengaluru Cantonment Vande Bharat Express, the Mangaluru Central – Madgaon Vande Bharat Express services operated by Southern Railway, and the new Amrit Bharat Express between Malda Town – SMVT Bengaluru that will run via Katpadi and Jolarpettai.

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