KOLKATA, May 17 (PTI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the Puri-Howrah Vande Bharat Express on Thursday virtually, a South Eastern Railway official said.
Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw will grace the programme at Puri station, from where the train will commence its inaugural run, he said on Wednesday.
The Howrah-Puri-Howrah Vande Bharat Express will be flagged off from Puri at around 1 pm on Thursday by the Prime Minister through the virtual mode, the SER official said.
This is the second Vande Bharat Express that West Bengal is getting after the Howrah-New Jalpaiguri Vande Bharat Express.
The train will cover the 500 km distance between Howrah and Puri in around six and a half hours.
With Puri, the abode of Lord Jagannath, being a very popular destination for tourists from Bengal and particularly Kolkata and its surroundings as both a pilgrimage and a beach resort town, the semi-high speed train is likely to be an instant hit among travellers, according to travel agents.
Regular run of the 22895/22896 Howrah-Puri-Howrah Vande Bharat Express will commence from May 20, the official said.
The train will run six days a week, except Thursdays, he added.
The train will depart Howrah at 6.10 am and reach Puri at 12.35 pm and in the return direction, it will depart Puri at 1.50 pm and arrive at Howrah at 8.30 pm.
The train, with 16 coaches, will stop at Kharagpur, Balasore, Bhadrak, Jajpur Keonjhar Road, Cuttack, Bhubaneswar and Khurda Road, the official said.