Railway Minister Piyush Goyal on Tuesday flagged off nine trains connecting small towns to major cities and said one of those, the Vadnagar-Mehsana train, was the railways' gift to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who sold tea at the Vadnagar station during his younger days.
Goyal said the nine "Sewa Service" trains were launched without any additional investment by the railways and it was an example of how to use existing resources to the maximum.
"Without spending anything, without investing, we have started these nine trains from the available resources.... Among these trains, there is one that goes from Vadnagar to Mehsana. A tea-seller at the Vadnagar station has become the prime minister of the country and by connecting Vadnagar with Mehsana, the railways has given a gift to the prime minister today," he said.
Of the nine "Sewa Service" trains, those between Delhi and Shamli, Bhubaneswar and Nayagarh town, Murkongselek and Dibrugarh and Coimbatore and Palani will run daily.
The other trains -- from Vadnagar to Mehsana, Asarya to Himmatnagar, Karur to Salem, Yesvantpur to Tumkur and Coimbatore to Pollachi -- will run six days a week.
The flagging off of the Kota-Jhalawar City "Sewa Service" train has been postponed.
"There has been a demand from people that trains should reach smaller cities and for this, we have the Sewa Service trains concept," Goyal said.
Union ministers Dharmendra Pradhan and Harsh Vardhan and New Delhi MP Meenakshi Lekhi were also present at the ceremony.