Vaishno Devi is a pilgrimage spot that people from all over the country flock to. The sanctum of goddess Vaishno is a place of worship which welcomes thousands of devotees, who come here round the year.
Reaching the pilgrimage spot located atop a mountain is a tough journey, while travelling to Jammu and then to Katra is an entirely different kind of grilling experience in itself. Which is why people often refer to the pilgrimage as the most difficult one.
To make sure that pilgrims have the ease of access to one of the holiest and revered spots in the country, the railway authorities have planned to run a new train 18 or Vande Bhaarat Express from Delhi all the way to Katra.
What's the update?
The new Vande Bhaarat Express will run between Delhi and Katra and would cut the travel time by at least 4 hours, helping people reach Katra in just 8 hours. Earlier it would take pilgrims 12 hours and above to reach Katra from Delhi. The new train solves the issue and makes for a more comfortable and faster means of transport.
The train will start from Delhi at 6 am in the morning and reach Katra at 2 pm in the afternoon. Leaving for Delhi on the same day, the train would start from Katra, in the afternoon at 3 pm and reach Delhi at 11 pm at night. It is scheduled to run three days a week, running every Monday, Thursday and Saturday.
The railway authorities have said that the frequency of the train would be increased from three days a week to five days a week owing to the demand of the train and the footfall.
The train would run at a maximum speed of 130 kms per hour and would pass through Ambala, Ludhiana and Jammu Tawi, stopping for a maximum two minutes at each station.
Why the need?
The first Vande Bhaarat Express was run between Delhi and Varanasi, another spot of pilgrimage and another spot which receives heavy footfall round the year.
According to reports, the new Vande Bhaarat Express is being launched to facilitate pilgrims and make the journey to Katra, which is the last station near Vaishno Devi, simpler.
The speed and the added comfort of the new Train 18 will make travelling a less grilling affair for people travelling to Jammu and Vaishno Devi, itself.