Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday flagged off the Chennai-Coimbatore Vande Bharat Express, which is expected to cut down the travel time between the state capital here and the western industrial city by more than one hour. In a function at the MGR Chennai Central Railway Station, the PM flagged off the inaugural special of the train, loaded with modern features and passenger amenities. He also interacted with school students in the train.
“It is the fastest train between the two cities with a travel time of 5 hours and 50 minutes, saving more than an hour of journey time,” an official release said.
“The wonderful cities of Chennai and Coimbatore have even better connectivity thanks to the Vande Bharat Express. Flagged off the train and also met young friends on the occasion,” the PM later tweeted.
The train, the first to connect two Tamil Nadu cities, has enhanced passenger safety with indigenous automatic train protection system ‘KAVACH’, CCTV cameras in all coaches and automatic sliding doors.
Divyang (differently-abled) friendly washrooms, seat handle numbers in Braille script, modern amenities like LED lights and 360-degree rotatable seats are the other features.
Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, TN Governor R N Ravi, Chief Minister M K Stalin and Union Minister of State L Murugan were present.
While the train will leave from Coimbatore at 6.00 am and reach here at 11.50 pm, it will start for the western city from Chennai at 2.25 pm and reach there at 8.15 pm, Southern Railway said.
It will stop at Salem, Erode and Tirupur. The service will be operated on all days except Wednesday.