In recent times, there has been a strong focus on the modernization of railway stations. As part of this effort, on July 7, 2023, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnav will initiate the redevelopment of Gorakhpur station, which will involve an investment of Rs. 498 crore. Additionally, Prime Minister Modi will also inaugurate three Vande Bharat trains from Gorakhpur. These trains include the Gorakhpur-Lucknow, Chennai-Tirupati, and Bhagat Ki Kothi (Jodhpur)-Sabarmati (Ahmedabad) routes.
The Railway's preparations for the upcoming Vande Bharat operations can be understood from the fact that the schedules of 11 trains, including Ajmer-Puri, have been modified to accommodate their arrivals and departures at Ahmedabad. The Vande Bharat train will cover a distance of 446 km between Bhagat Ki Kothi and Sabarmati in 6 hours, maintaining an average speed of 74 km/h.
Following this, the next day, Prime Minister Modi will lay the foundation stone for the redevelopment of Bikaner station in Bikaner. The redevelopment project is estimated to cost Rs. 450 crores. On Friday evening, a meeting was conducted at the headquarters, which was attended by officers such as GM Vijay Sharma (North Western Railways) and DRM/Bikaner Rajeev Srivastava (NWR). Subsequently, Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw also held a virtual meeting to discuss the project.
Vande Bharat will run from Bikaner, Udaipur, Kota before elections
According to a senior railway official, the North Western Railway has received approval to operate five Vande Bharat trains. The first train will run between Ajmer and Delhi, and the second train is now commencing its service between Jodhpur and Ahmedabad. Furthermore, the third Vande Bharat train is also planned to be launched before the elections, although its specific route has not been determined yet. However, sources indicate that the next Vande Bharat train might originate from either Udaipur or Bikaner, although the decision regarding the exact station is yet to be finalized.
Currently, Vande Bharat trains have been allocated to Jaipur, Ajmer, and Jodhpur divisions. However, operations of Vande Bharat trains have not yet begun in the Bikaner division. Bikaner MP Arjun Ram Meghwal has also expressed the demand for a Vande Bharat train to be operated from Bikaner. In recent developments, the Vande Bharat train has undergone trials in the Kota division as well.
A senior official from the Kota Railway Division has stated that there are plans to run the Vande Bharat train between Kota–Hazrat Nizamuddin. It is worth noting that although Kota is located in Rajasthan, it falls under the jurisdiction of the North Central Railway.
Source: Dainik Bhaskar