Melbourne, Nov 16: "Modi Express", a special train carrying over 220 passengers who will attend Prime Minister Narendra Modi's first public lecture in Sydney tomorrow, was flagged off by an Australian minister in Melbourne on Sunday.
Victorian Multicultural Minister Matthew Guy flagged off the train at Southern Cross station - the major railway station and transport hub for Melbourne.
Several Indians boarded the four bogies of the train at 8 pm local time today. The passengers danced and sang patriotic songs before boarding the train, creating a festive atmosphere at the station.
It is the first time in the history of Melbourne, that a train service has been organised under the name of a Prime Minister.
The service has been organised by the Overseas Friends of BJP to honour Mr Modi and celebrate his first official visit as prime minister to Australia.
"This Modi Express will be a hell of a party time for all of the passengers," said Ashwin Bora, spokesperson for OFBJP's Melbourne Chapter.
With the support of rail authorities, the train has been specially decorated with tri-colour balloons, Mr Modi's posters and banners and pictures of iconic places of India.
The organisers said that they will serve delicacies like 'Modi Dhokla' and 'Modi Fafda' to the passengers for free.
The minister, who flagged off the train with an Indian flag, said the visit of Mr Modi holds a huge significance for the Indian diaspora living in the Australia and also for the Indo-Australian relationship.
A couple in their 60s, Dr Bhupender Singh and Gunni from Punjab who flew from Adelaide, said it was a huge moment for Indians living in Australia and there was a sense of excitement among the diaspora with Mr Modi's visit.
Hundreds of Indians living in Victoria came to see off the train. Expressing his excitement, Melbourne resident Gurbir Singh said, "Modi has given us a hope for the growth and a good future ahead."
Mr Modi is expected to hold a public address in Sydney on November 17 for which over 150,000 attendees have already registered.