Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Thursday flagged off the Delhi-Katra Vande Bharat Express from the New Delhi Railway Station and said it was a "big gift" for Jammu and Kashmir's development.
Shah also said that Article 370 was the "biggest roadblock" in the state's development and within 10 years, it will be one of the most developed regions of the country.
Flagging off the second edition of the indigenous train, Shah said, "I believe that not only was Article 370 a roadblock for the unity of this country, but it was also the biggest roadblock for the development of Kashmir. I am sure that after the removal of this Article, we will be successful in completely eradicating terrorism and the ideas promoting terrorism in the area."
"Within the next 10 years, Jammu and Kashmir will be one of the most developed regions of the country and the journey of development has begun with Vande Bharat Express which is set to boost development and promote religious tourism," he said at the launch.
Train number 22439 New Delhi-Katra Vande Bharat Express will depart from the New Delhi Railway Station at 6 am to reach Katra at 2 pm. En route, the train will halt at Cantonment, Ludhiana and Jammu Tawi for two minutes each.
On the return journey the same day, train number 22440 Katra-New Delhi Vande Bharat Express will leave from the Katra Railway Station at 3 pm to reach the New Delhi Railway Station at 11 pm.
Train 18 will ply on all days of the week except for Tuesday.
"Railways will connect country from Kashmir to Kanyakumari before 15th August, 2022," said Railway Minister Piyush Goyal.
Shah also said that, "Railways should document its relationship with Mahatma Gandhi as it forms a significant episode in the freedom struggle.".
This is the second Vande Bharat Express, the first runs between Delhi and Varanasi.