Route of erstwhile Venkatadri Express revived after a decade-and-a-half with the launch of bi-weekly express

An important rail route that was disconnected over a decade and a half ago for gauge conversion was re-connected with the launch of a bi-weekly Secunderabad-Tirupati Express.

Train no. 12770 bound for Tirupati was on Saturday flagged off by Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy in the presence of Union Minister of State for Railways (MoSR) Kotla Suryaprakash Reddy. It will run via Kacheguda, Kurnool, Dhone, Gooty, Dharmavaram, Madanapalle, Kalikiri, Piler and Pakala, the route taken by erstwhile Venkatadri Express between 1975 and 1995.

Mr. Kiran Kumar Reddy said as establishment of a coach factory in Kazipet was important for the State he had requested Mr. Suryaprakash Reddy to get the project moving, while also proposing a similar factory in Rayalaseema to spawn development and generate employment. Creation of railway infrastructure and development went hand in hand he said. With the MoSR from the State long-pending railway projects would gain momentum, he stated, promising total cooperation towards cost-sharing.

Others present included Ministers J. Geeta Reddy (Major Industries), Danam Nagender (Labour and M. Mukesh Goud (Backward Classes Welfare), Secunderabad MLA Jayasudha Kapoor, MP Anjan Kumar Yadav and MLC Amos.

Injustice

Mr. Suryaprakash Reddy said it was true that Andhra Pradesh had faced some injustice in Railway Budgets and considering the financial position of the Railways, most projects were getting delayed. “As a Member of Parliament, I complained of injustice and as a Minister now, I am determined to rectify the situation.

Safety

He said cleanliness and safety at railway stations and comfort and safety of passengers were of paramount importance. New trains were a constant endeavour, he said, informing that the air-conditioned, superfast Kakinada-Secunderabad Express would start on Sunday. Soon, trains linking Visakhapatnam to Tirupati and Shirdi, apart from a Karimnagar-Tirupati Express would be introduced.

Trains for AP

Earlier, South Central Railway General Manager G.N. Asthana said of the 16 new Express trains sanctioned for AP in the current year, eight were already rolling and said the remaining would be introduced before the end of the year.

He said that preliminary work and final location survey for the Phase II of the Multi-Modal Transit System in and around the twin cities would be complete this month and tenders would be called next month.