SAMBALPUR: A longstanding demand of people of Western Odisha for a direct train to Allahabad was realised with the flagging off of the Sambalpur-Jammu Tawi Express from Sambalpur Junction on Saturday.Union Railway Minister, Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu flagged off the train through video conferencing from New Delhi in the presence of Sambalpur MP Nagendra Pradhan, Bargarh MP Prabhas Singh, Sambalpur MLA Raseswari Panigrahi, Kuchinda MLA Rabinarayan Naik, and Divisional Railway Manager, Sambalpur, Dinesh Kumar Singh.
Thousands of people from all walks of life joined in to celebrate the occasion. Usually, people from the area visit Allahabad to perform death rituals of their family members and prior to this, they had to change several trains to reach the place.
The Sambalpur-Jammu Tawi Express will not only carry people to Allahabad to perform death rituals at Triveni Sangam but would also facilitate travel of devotees to Amritsar, Vaishno Devi and Amarnath. It will leave Sambalpur daily at 7.45 am and on return, will arrive at 5.45 pm. The train will go through Rourkela, Hatia, Ranchi, Muri, Daltonganj, Allahabad, Kanpur, Aligarh, Ghaziabad, Old Delhi Junction, Panipat, Kurukshetra, Ambala Cantt. Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Amritsar, Pathankot and Jammu Tawi.