Gujarat's first heritage train flagged off by Modi
Ekta Nagar (Guj), Oct 31 (PTI) Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday flagged off Gujarat's first heritage train that will run from here to Ahmedabad, bringing tourists to the Statue of Unity, the memorial to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.
The three-coach heritage train will be hauled by an electric engine that has been designed to look like a steam locomotive, replete with foggers to produce exhaust fumes and sound system to produce the sound of a steam locomotive.
"The train is a blend of heritage and modern facilities," Modi said, flagging off the train during Ekta Divas celebrations here.
Ekta Nagar, also known as Kevadiya, is in Narmada district.
The three coaches have 48 seats each and tourists can enjoy a cup of tea and snacks in the 28-seater AC restaurant dining car with teak wood dining tables and two seater cushioned sofas.
"The train will ply as a weekly service on Sundays from November 5. The frequency will be increased after taking into account the response to the service," Jitendra Kumar Singh, Divisional Railway Manager, Vadodara, said.
All the coaches have teak wood interiors designed at the Integral Coach Factory at Perambur, Chennai.
Vadodara has a rich heritage of railways with the first attempt to run rail services being made in 1862 by Khanderao Gaekwad, the then ruler of Baroda State. Back then the trains were hauled by oxen on a eight-mile track between Dabhoi and Miyagam. Locomotives were used regularly on the route by 1880.
The train will depart Ahmedabad at 6:10 am and reach Ekta Nagar, the railway station at Kevadia, which is home to the Statue of Unity in the reservoir of the Sardar Sarovar dam, at 9:50 am.
On the return journey, the train will depart from Ekta Nagar at 8:23 pm and reach Ahmedabad at five minutes past midnight. The fare for one-way journey will be Rs 885.
The train will not have any stoppage during the 182-km journey between Ekta Nagar and Ahmedabad.
Once a sleepy town nestled in the Vindhyachal and Satpura mountain ranges, Kevadia has undergone massive transformation since the inauguration of the Statue of Unity, the world's tallest statue near here.
Besides the tallest statue in the world, Kevadia has a number of tourist attractions including a jungle safari, rafting, maze, cruise, light and sound show, a glow garden and Narmada Aarti.
The departure time of the heritage train allows tourists to plan their return journey after enjoying the light and sound show and other late evening events here.
India has a number of heritage trains, including the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, Nilgiri Mountain Railway, Kangra Valley Railway, Kalka-Shimla Railway, Matheran Hill Railway among others. PTI SKU DV DV