Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagged off the third Mahamana Express running between Vadodara and Varanasi from Varanasi today.
While the prime minister inaugurated the first run of the train , Railway Minister Piyush Goyal joined him via video link from Vadodara along with senior officials of the ministry.
The maiden journey of the train was from Vadodara to Varanasi.
Modi won from both places in the 2014 elections, but chose to represent Varanasi in Parliament.
The Modi government had unveiled the first rake of the Mahamana Express as part of railways’ Model Rake Project in 2016.
The Mahamana Express with plush interiors — built under the Make in India initiative — currently runs on two routes, Varanasi-New Delhi and Bhopal-Khajuraho.
The new weekly train will run from Varanasi every Friday and from Vadodara every Wednesday.
The 1,531-km journey between the two cities will take 27 hour 30 minutes at an average speed of 55.7 km/hr, ministry officials said.
It has stops at Bharuch and Surat in Gujarat; Amalner and Bhusawal in Maharashtra; Itarsi, Jabalpur, Katni and Satna in Madhya Pradesh; and Chheoki in Uttar Pradesh.
Some special features of the Mahamana trains include modular panels, ergonomically designed ladders for climbing to the upper berths, aesthetically appealing toilet modules with big mirror, platform washbasin, controlled discharged water tap, odour control system, exhaust fan, LED lights and dustbin inside the toilets.
The new train has 18 coaches – one AC 1st class, two 2nd class AC, eight sleeper, four general, one pantry car and two guard brake vans. There is no AC-3 tier coach in the train.
The train has LED lighting across the coaches and special berth indicators-cum-night-light in reserved coaches.
Mahamana Express is named after the nationalist leader Madan Mohan Malviya, who was also also addressed as Mahamana.