Kozhikode: A Vande Bharat train arrived in Kerala from Chennai on Friday morning for trial runs ahead of its much-anticipated launch by prime minister Narendra Modi.
BJP workers welcomed the train in Palakkad railway station with flowers and sloganeering. They lauded the union government for providing Kerala with a 'Vishukaineettam'.
The railway is planning to run Vande Bharat train services between Thiruvananthapuram and Kannur. Only one train will conduct services initially. The train will depart Thiruvananthapuram station in the morning and reach Kannur in the afternoon. There will be a half-hour halt in Kannur before the train resumes its return journey to Thiruvananthapuram.
The pilot trial will continue in the coming days. Nine stops between Thiruvananthapuram and Kannur are expected. For the journey through Kottayam, there will be stops in Kollam, Kottayam, Ernakulam, Thrissur, Kozhikode and Kannur.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will flag-off the train at Kochi on April 24 or Thiruvananthapuram on April 25. The schedule details are not finalised.
Although Vande Bharat is designed to operate at a maximum speed of 160 km per hour, it will not be able to achieve that speed on Kerala's tracks due to curves and a lack of automated signalling. Instead, it will run at the same speed as the Jan Shatabdi and Rajdhani trains, with a maximum speed of around 110 km per hour in the northern districts.