Train service to Katra, the basecamp of Mata Vaishno Devi shrine from the national capital on Monday formally began with the AC superfast Shri Shakti Express embarking upon its maiden journey from Monday.
"The 18-coach AC train departed for Katra at 5.30pm from New Delhi railway station here and the corresponding service from Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Katra station would start at 10.55pm tonight," said Neeraj Sharma, Northern Railway spokesperson.
He said the train has received an overwhelming response and was fully occupied. The daily service is expected to be a great convenience for the passengers desirous to travel between New Delhi and Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Katra stations.
The train will depart daily from New Delhi at 5.30pm to arrive at Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Katra at 5.10am the next day. On its return leg, it would depart from Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Katra at 10.55pm daily to reach New Delhi at 10.45am the next day.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced the train service while inaugurating the Katra station on July 4. Consisting of one first AC, five AC two tier, nine AC three tier coaches and a pantry car facility the Shri Shakti Express would stop at Ambala Cantt, Ludhiana, Jalandhar Cantt, Pathankot Cantt, Jammu Tawi and Udhampur Stations en route in both directions.