Modi Flags off Gujarat’s First Heritage Train

Ekta Nagar: Prime MinisterNarendra Modi on Tuesdayflagged off Gujarat’s first heritagetrain that will run from here to
Ahmedabad, bringing tourists tothe Statue of Unity, the memorialto Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.The three-coach heritage train
will be hauled by an electric enginethat has been designed to look likea steam locomotive, replete withfoggers to produce exhaust fumes
and sound system to produce thesound of a steam locomotive.”The train is a blend of heritageand modern facilities,” PM Modi
said, flagging off the train duringEkta Divas celebrations here. EktaNagar, also known as Kevadiya,is in Narmada district.
The three coaches have 48 seatseach and tourists can enjoy a cupof tea and snacks in the 28-seaterAC restaurant dining car with teak
wood dining tables and two seatercushioned sofas.”The train will ply as a weeklyservice on Sundays fromNovember 5. The frequency will
be increased after taking intoaccount the response to theservice,” Jitendra Kumar Singh,Divisional Railway Manager,
Vadodara, said. All the coacheshave teak wood interiors designedat the Integral Coach Factory atPerambur, Chennai.
Vadodara has a rich heritage ofrailways with the first attempt torun rail services being made in1862 by Khanderao Gaekwad, the
then ruler of Baroda State. Backthen the trains were hauled byoxen on a eight-mile track betweenDabhoi and Miyagam.
Locomotives were used regularlyon the route by 1880.The train will departAhmedabad at 6:10 am and reachEkta Nagar, the railway station atKevadia, which is home to theStatue of Unity in the reservoirof the Sardar Sarovar dam, at 9:50am. On the return journey, the
train will depart from Ekta Nagarat 8:23 pm and reach Ahmedabadat five minutes past midnight. Thefare for one-way journey will be
Rs. 885. The train will not haveany stoppage during the 182-kmjourney between Ekta Nagar andAhmedabad.Once a sleepy town nestled inthe Vindhyachal and Satpuramountain ranges, Kevadia hasundergone massivetransformation since theinauguration of the Statue of
Unity, the world’s tallest statuenear here. Besides the tallest statuein the world, Kevadia has anumber of tourist attractions
including a jungle safari, rafting,maze, cruise, light and soundshow, a glow garden and NarmadAarti.The departure time of theheritage train allows tourists tolan their return journey afterenjoying the light and soundshow and other late eveningevents here. India has a numberof heritage trains, including theDarjeeling Himalayan Railway,Nilgiri Mountain Railway,Kangra Valley Railway, Kalka-Shimla Railway, Matheran HillRailway among others.

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