Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday flagged off the first train service in Kashmir valley, realising the decades old dream of the people in the region through the prestigious project launched in 1998.
Singh, accompanied by UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav and Jammu and Kashmir Governor NN Vohra, flagged off the flower-decked train from Srinagar railway station at Nowgam.
The train, which was flagged off 10 years after the project was started by then Prime Minister Inder Kumar Gujral, carried school children.
Initially, the train will run from Rajwansher in Budgam district to Anantnag, covering a distance of 66 kms, the spokesman said, adding the fare for the travel will be Rs 15.
The regular service of the train will commence from October 12. There will be an eight-coach DEMU rake in the train, he said.
The stoppages will be at Budgam, Srinagar, Pampore, Kakapora, Awantipora, Panjgam, Bijbehara, Rajwansher and Anantnag, the spokesman said.
The train, which is expected to cover the 66-km in about 1 hour and 35 minutes including stoppage time at various stations, will be run twice a day from either side.