Mehsana: Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu on Tuesday laid foundation stone for eight different rail projects, including the much awaited line doubling between Surendranagar and Rajkot.
Prabhu, who was here as part of NDA government's second anniversary celebrations, also announced to start a direct train connecting north Gujarat city with Mumbai.
The projects include Ahmedabad-Mehsana gauge conversion with electrification, Mehsana-Taranga Hill gauge conversion, Vatva-Ahmedabad third line, Modasa-Shamlaji new line, Bhuj-Naliya gauge conversion, Somnath-Kodinar new line, Miyagam-Samlaya gauge conversion and Surendranagar-Rajkot line doubling in Saurashtra region.
Talking to reporters, Prabhu took cognisance of the fact that there is no direct train from districts like Patan, Mehsana, Banaskantha and Sabarkantha to Mumbai.
"I want to assure you that a direct train from north Gujarat to Mumbai will definitely start in near future. I will not give exact date, but it will 100 per cent start," he said.
To a poser regarding starting theme based tourist trains, such as recently launched Tiger Express, the minister gave a positive indication and invited state governments to come up with proposals.
"Tiger Express has been flagged off on Sunday. On the same line, if Gujarat government wants, we can also think of starting a tourist train keeping in mind the lion safari here on revenue sharing basis," he said.
Prabhu said he will also invite other states to come up with their proposals if they want such theme based tourist trains.
He also announced to start some more trains and addition of extra coaches to those trains which see huge rush.
"For the common man, we will launch 'Antyoday' train. We are also planning to launch 'Uday' train that will start in night and arrive at the destination in morning. We have also created Director of Mobility to see how we can increase the speed of the existing trains," he said.
"To counter huge rush of passengers, particularly in (trains to) Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, we have decided to attach additional coaches, which will be called as 'Deen Dayal Coaches'," the minister apprised.