The Indian Railways has identified 27 routes of Shatabdi and Jan Shatabdi trains in the first phase of replacing them with indigenously manufactured semi-high speed Vande Bharat trains. Ahead of the mass production of the next generation of Vande Bharat trains, the railways have marked the route of Delhi- Lucknow, Delhi- Amristar, Puri- Howrah among the total 27 such routes, reported Swarajyamag.
Shatabdi trains running between Delhi- Bhopal and Delhi- Chandigarh are also likely to be part of this replacement plan. The railways had already awarded the contract to build 44 new Vande Bharat trains at Integral Coach Factory (ICF), Chennai and are in the process of tendering 58 more such train sets.
A source close to the development told Swarajysmag that 27 possible routes for running Vande Bharat trains replacing the Shatabdi and Jan Shatabdi services have been identified. The railway is also likely to replace some intercity trains with the modern Vande Bharat trains.
Since Vande Bharat have only a seating arrangement, they are initially slated to replace the Shatabdi, Jan Shatabdi and Intercity Express. However, there is also a plan to build Vande Bharat with sleeper coaches as a replacement to Rajdhani, Duronto trains.
In the Union Budget for 2022-23, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman had proposed the development of 400 new Vande Bharat trains over the next three years. Out of the proposed trains, tenders for 100 train sets are likely to tender soon.
Currently, the semi high-speed train is running on two routes, Delhi- Varanasi and Delhi- Katra.
Originally referred to as Train 18 during development, the Vande Bharat trains run without a locomotive engine and are propelled by a mechanism called distributed traction power technology that provides electric energy supply to each car in the train set. Due to the faster acceleration, the train can attain a top speed of 160 km in an hour reducing travel time by up to 25 to 45 per cent.
The trains’ current configuration comes with 16 coaches that include 14 regular chair cars and two executive chair cars.