Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday flagged off the new Varanasi-Vadodara Mahamana Express via videoconferencing here.
Earlier in the day, Modi arrived here by a special Indian Air Force aircraft on a two-day visit to his parliamentary constituency Varanasi amid tight security.
Railway Minister Piyush Goyal was present in Vadodara in Gujarat, while Minister of State for Railways Manoj Sinha was present in Surat during the flagging-off ceremony.
The train, on its inaugural service, will be run as a special train — departing from Vadodara on Friday and reaching Varanasi on Saturday.
The Mahamana Express, with plush interiors, currently runs on the Varanasi-New Delhi and Bhopal-Khajuraho routes.
The new weekly train will start from Varanasi every Friday and from Vadodara every Wednesday. The 1,531-km journey between the two cities will take 27 hours and 30 minutes, officials said.
The train will stop at Bharuch and Surat in Gujarat; Amalner and Bhusawal in Maharashtra; Itarsi, Jabalpur, Katni and Satna in Madhya Pradesh and Chheoki in Uttar Pradesh.
The Mahamana Express will have one AC Ist Class coach, two Second AC, eight sleeper and four general coaches, one pantry car and two guard brake vans. There is no AC-3 tier coach in the train.
The features in the Mahamana Express include ergonomically designed ladders for climbing to upper berths, snack tables for side berths, windows with powered venetian blinds and roller blinds, LED lights as berth indicators, LED reading lights, fire extinguishers in all coaches and an electrically operated chimney in the pantry car.
The train’s toilets have platform washbasins, bigger mirrors, an odour control system, exhaust fans and dustbins.