- .• Union Ministers Shri Dharmendra Pradhan and Shri Ashwini Vaishnaw flagged off the extension of Banaras-Sambalpur Express up to Visakhapatnam from Sambalpur.
- • Direct Connectivity to Baranasi from Southern Odisha.
- • Ease access to Business, Education and Health related services for Southern and Western Odisha.
- • Boost to the tourism and cultural exchange.
Sambalpur: Union Minister of Education, Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, Govt. of India Shri Dharmendra Pradhan and Minister of Railways, Communications, Electronics & Information Technology, Shri Ashwini Vaishnaw flagged off of the extension of Banaras-Sambalpur-Banaras bi-weekly Express up to Visakhapatnam from Sambalpur Railway Station, today.
Other dignitaries present on the occasion at Sambalpur are Hon’ble MPs Shri Nitesh Gangadev and MLA Shri Nauri Nayak. Apart from this, MPs Shri Suresh Pujari, Smt. Sangeeta Kumari Singh Deo & Niranjan Bishi and Shri Basanta Kumar Panda graced the function through Video Conferencing at Bargarh Road, Balangir and Kesinga Stations, respectively.
Today, on the inaugural run, the train will run as a special train from Sambalpur to Visakhapatnam. However, the regular service in the extended portion for this train will commence from 22nd Nov’2023 from Visakhapatnam and w.e.f. 23rd Nov’2023 from Banaras. Without disturbing the scheduled timings and stoppages for this train between Sambalpur and Banaras, this train has been extended to Visakhapatnam.
Extension of this train to Visakhapatnam is a game-changer for the people of Southern and Western Odisha. The extension of this train from Sambalpur to Visakhapatnam will serve as a lifeline for the residents of Western and Southern Odisha travelling for various other reasons like Business, Education and Medical Treatment. Apart from this, it will boost to the tourism and cultural exchange having direct connectivity between Banaras and Visakhapatnam.
The extended train, now named 18311 Visakhapatnam-Banaras Express, will depart from Visakhapatnam every Wednesday and Sunday at 0410hrs. The return journey, 18312 Banaras-Visakhapatnam Express, will leave Banaras every Thursday and Monday at 1500hrs.
The train will have stoppages at crucial stations, including Bargarh Rd, Balangir, Titilagarh, Kesinga, Muniguda, Rayagada, Parvatipuram, Bobbili, Vizianagaram, and Kottavalasa.
The extension increases the travel distance from 895Kms to 1400Kms, with an extended travel time of about 28 hours 30 minutes between Sambalpur and Banaras.
The train will now run with LHB Coaches, featuring One AC-2 Tier, Four AC-3 Tier, Eight Sleeper Classes (Nine temporarily), Six Second Class Seating, One Guard cum Luggage & Divyangjan Coach, and One Power Car.
Earlier, ECoR Additional General Manager Shri Sharad Kumar Srivastava welcomed the Guests and dignitaries and Divisional Railway Manager of Sambalpur Division Shri Vineet Singh was also present.