Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on a two-day visit to Kerala, flagged off the state's first Vande Bharat Express train from here on Tuesday.
Modi flagged off the train from the Thiruvananthapuram Central Railway station here at 10.30 AM.
Prior to flagging off the Vande Bharat Express from platform 1 of the railway station, he interacted with a group of school children inside one of the coaches of the train.
Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Congress MP Shashi Tharoor were also present with the PM as he interacted with the students inside the train.
The children showed Modi paintings and sketches of him and the Vande Bharat train made by them.
Hundreds of people also gathered on the opposite side platform to see the PM flag off the train.
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The Vande Bharat Express, which will connect the state capital with the northern-most Kasaragod district of Kerala, has been projected by many as an alternative to the LDF government's ambitious semi-high speed rail corridor, SilverLine.
The PM flew down from Kochi in the morning and was given a grand reception by BJP leaders and workers on his arrival at the Thiruvananthapuram airport here.
The entire state capital was under a tight security net, with deployment of hundreds of police personnel and stringent traffic restrictions, as the PM travelled from the airport to the railway station.
His entire nearly six km journey from the airport to the railway station was akin to a road show with the PM standing on the footboard of his vehicle and waving to the people on the roadside as they showered him with flowers.
After the flagging off of the train, he is scheduled to launch several other developmental projects, including the Kochi Water Metro service, from the Kerala Central Stadium here.
He will lay the foundation stones of various projects, like the electrified Dindigul-Palani-Palakkad section and the country's first Digital Science Park, and dedicate them to the nation at a ceremony to be held at the Central Stadium here.
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