After a delay of more than two years, the much-awaited Kalka-Katra train will start plying from June 2. Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu will flag off the inaugural run of the train on Saturday.
Chief Public Relations Officer, Northern Railways, Neeraj Sharma said Prabhu would flag off the train via video conference from Kullu, Himachal Pradesh.
The inaugural train will start from Kalka at 1.40 pm and reach Katra at 11.50 pm. The same train will leave Katra at 9.30 pm on Sunday and reach Kalka at 7.50 am the next day.
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As per the railway schedule, train number 14503 and 14504 will ply biweekly on this route. It will depart from Kalka on Tuesday and Friday at 7 pm and arrive at Katra the next day at 4.45 am. It will leave from Katra on Wednesday and Saturday at 9.30 pm and reach Kalka at 7.50 am the next day.
The train will have stoppages in Chandigarh, Mohali, Morinda, Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Pathankot, Jammu, Udhampur and end its journey at Katra. It will comprise a total of 16 coaches with one two-tier AC coach, two three-tier AC coaches, five sleeper coaches, six general section coaches and two SLR coaches.
The total distance of the train is 479 kilometres and the train will take approximately 10 hours to complete it. Fares of the train will be uploaded on Saturday and passengers can book their tickets accordingly.
The train was scheduled to start from November 11 last year but was cancelled at the last minute due to the Assembly polls in Jammu and Kashmir.
Announced in 2013
The Kalka-Katra train was announced in 2013. But it could not be started because the security clearance of Udhampur-Katra rail section in J&K was pending. The track got the security clearance in July last year after which, the Northern Railways began the daily service between Delhi and Katra, besides extending three trains on Pathankot-Jammu-Tawi-Udhampur section up to Katra station.