Amritsar/Chandigarh, Aug 24 (IANS) The much-awaited Duranto Express train, linking the Sikh holy city of Amritsar to Punjab and Haryana capital Chandigarh, was flagged-off by Union Minister of State for Railways K.H. Muniyappa at Amritsar Wednesday morning in the presence of Amritsar MP Navjot Singh Sidhu and Punjab minister Laxmi Kanta Chawla.
The train, which will run five times in a week from both cities, will complete its journey in about four hours. It has two air-conditioned chair car coaches and 12 non-AC coaches.
It will start from Amritsar at 5.25 a.m. and reach Chandigarh at 9.30 a.m. The train from Chandigarh will leave at 7 p.m. and arrive in Amritsar at 11.15 p.m. The train will have no stops enroute.
Though Sidhu demanded that the train stop at Jalandhar and Ludhiana, the minister of state for railways said the policy for Duranto trains was to have a non-stop link between two cities.
The demand for such a train link had been pending for long. Former Railway Minister Mamata Benerjee had provided for the Duranto Express between Amritsar and Chandigarh in the 2009 budget itself, but it could be started only Wednesday.