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Thiruvananthapuram- Kasaragod Vande Bharat Express doing trial runs ahead of PM’s launch

Vande Bharat Express (Photo for representation)

Kerala’s first Vande Bharat Express train has begun its trial runs and will be launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on April 25.

The semi-high speed train reached Ernakulam from Thiruvananthapuram on its second trial run on Wednesday at an average speed of 70 km per hour. It is reported to have touched 110 kmph on some stretches.

India’s 15th Vande Bharat Express, which was initially planned between Thiruvananthapuram and Kannur, has now been extended till Kasaragod, Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said.

The Vande Bharat Express, with 16 modern coaches, will start from Thiruvananthapuram with stops at Kollam, Kottayam, Ernakulam Town, Thrissur, Tirur, Kozhikode, Kannur before it reaches Kasaragod.

The train will cover the distance of 501 km between Thiruvananthapuram and Kasaragod in approximately 7 hours.

Track augmentation work and modernisation of the signalling system is also being carried out in full swing.

Under Phase I of the railway modernisation project, Rs 381 crore has been sanctioned for converting the entire track from Kasaragod to Thiruvananthapuram to a speed potential of 110 kmph. This will be done within one-and-a-half years.

The second phase, which will involve straightening the turns, will take two to three-and-a-half years to be completed for increasing the track speed potential to 130 kmph.