PM Modi virtually flags off Howrah-NJP Vande Bharat express

New Delhi:

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday virtually flagged off the Vande Bharat express connecting Howrah and New Jalpaiguri in the presence of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

Also present on the occasion were Governor C V Ananda Bose and Union Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw.

The Vande Bharat Express will connect Howrah and New Jalpaiguri, the gateway to the northeast.

The blue-and-white train, which covers a distance of 564 km in 7.45 hours, will save three hours of travel time compared to other trains on the route, officials said. It will have three stoppages at Barsoi, Malda and Bolpur.

The Vande Bharat express with modern passenger amenities is likely to be preferred both by regular passengers, tea industry executives and tourists travelling to the Himalayas in North Bengal and Sikkim.

The state-of-the-art train has 16 coaches, including two for drivers.