Prime Minister Narendra Modi virtually flagged off North East's first Vande Bharat Express from Guwahati to New Jalpaiguri in West Bengal on Monday.
The prime minister symbolically waved a green flag on screen, to launch the train from Guwahati station where Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, Assam Governor Gulab Chand Kataria and Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma were present.
The Vande Bharat Express will boost tourism, education, trade and employment opportunities in the North East, the prime minister said on the occasion.
The semi-high-speed train between Guwahati and New Jalpaiguri will further strengthen connectivity between Assam and West Bengal.
During the last nine years, the North East has witnessed infrastructure development with all states connected with the railway network, Modi said.
"Infrastructure is for all without any discrimination, reflecting true social justice and secularism", the prime minister said.
The state-of-the-art train will provide the people of the region the means to travel with speed and comfort besides boosting tourism in the region.
The Guwahati- New Jalpaiguri Vande Bharat Express will cover the journey in 5 hours 30 minutes, while the current fastest train takes 6 hours 30 minutes to cover the same distance.
The prime minister also dedicated a 182-km route of newly electrified sections to the nation and inaugurated a DEMU/MEMU shed at Lumding in Assam.
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