The railways are likely to introduce three more Vande Bharat trains in south India, officials said Monday.
The routes being considered for the new services are from Kacheguda in Telangana to Bengaluru in Karnataka and from Secunderabad in Telangana to Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh and Pune in Maharashtra.
The assembly polls in Karnataka and Telangana are likely to be held later this year, while Andhra Pradesh is likely to see assembly polls in 2024.
The BJP, under its Mission South, has been focussing on its performance in southern states in the next parliamentary elections in 2024.
The railways launched south India’s first Vande Bharat Express train on the Chennai-Bengaluru-Mysure route in November this year.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagged off the fifth rake of Vande Bharat Express at the Krantiveera Sangolli Railway station in Bengaluru.
The Secunderabad-Vizag Vande Bharat Express, which was launched recently, has been running with 100 percent occupancy since its launch, officials said.
Sources said the railway divisions of the South Central Railway have been asked to upgrade the infrastructure of at least one of their coaching depots in Secunderabad, Hyderabad, and Vijayawada divisions for the maintenance of Vande Bharat trains for these destinations.
The Indian Railways plans to run 75 Vande Bharat trains by the end of this year and 400 over the next three years. As of now, Vande Bharat trains have been introduced on various routes, including Nagpur-Bilaspur, Delhi-Varanasi, Gandhinagar-Mumbai, and Chennai-Mysuru.
The Vande Bharat Express is designed and manufactured by the Integral Coach Factory (ICF) at Perambur in Chennai under the flagship Make-in-India initiative.
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