Vande Bharat Express: Second trial run begins from TVM; Projects including SilverLine in limelight

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Thiruvananthapuram: The second trial run of proposed Vande Bharat Express service has begun from Thiruvananthapuram on Wednesday.

The train left Thiruvananthapuram at 5:20 am and reached Kollam in 50 minutes. The first trial run was up to Kannur and the ongoing trial is up to Kasaragod. It is learnt that the second trial run will give more clarity on average time required to cover the proposed route and the fares. Apart from railway officials, security officials have become part of the second trial run.

Meanwhile, Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw while attending a press conference to explain the services offered by Vande Bharat Express on Tuesday said that the SilverLine project in Kerala is not a closed chapter. The remark comes at a time when discussions about the Vande Bharat train as an alternative to the Silverline project raised political controversies in Kerala.

By dismissing reports on scrapping the SilverLine project, the minister pointed out that there is no change in the Union Government's stand. Ashwini Vaishnaw added that Detailed Project Report (DPR) submitted by the state government is inadequate to provide final clearance.

"Will hold talks with Kerala Chief Minister. Vande Bharat and SilverLine are two separate projects. The ministry is ready to consider the project if the state government submits a comprehensive report instead of sticking with the DPR," he said.

The minister informed the Sabari Express project is also under discussion. Earlier, BJP in Kerala is against the implementation of the SilverLine project. Following this, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi requesting final clearance for the project.

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