The longest train route in India is set to begin on November 26, 2011. Vivek Express will cover 4278 km (2658 miles), linking North East India with South India, taking 82 hours, 40 minutes (3 day, 10 hours, 40 minutes) one way. The weekly train will depart Dibrugarh, Assam, every Saturday at 11:45 pm and reach Kanniyakumari, Tamil Nadu, on Wednesday at 10:25 am. Return service will leave Kannyakumari (CAPE) every Saturday at 2 pm and reach Dibrugarh (DBRG) on Wednesday at 3:30 am.
An inaugural launch chugged out of Dibrugarh on November 19, 2011, before regular passenger service kicks off on November 26. The train route was christened Vivek Express after the name of great Indian saint Swami Vivekananda.
Vivek Express (15906 Dn, 15905 Up) will travel with 18 coaches: 6 general (unreserved) second class coaches, 7 second class sleeper coaches, 1 two-tier air-conditioned coach, 2 three-tier air-conditioned coaches, 2 SLR’s, and one pantry car. Fifty-two (52) scheduled stops along the Vivek Express route will bypass many of the largest cities before ending at the southern most tip of India, also known as Cape Comorin.
Fares have been set as follows: General Rs 381, Sleeper Rs 673, AC 3-tier Rs 1878, AC 2-tier Rs 2573. Tourists of India will find this new route to be an exceptional value if not a once in a lifetime opportunity to see parts of India previously thought unaffordable.