Indian Railways are all set to give a massive boost to the indigenous semi-high speed train set, Vande Bharat. To commemorate 75 years of Independence, railways is preparing to roll out a minimum of 10 such new trains, which will link around 40 cities, by August 2022. It is learned that after assuming office, Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, among his first moves, has reviewed the Vande Bharat project.
Vaishnaw has directed the people in charge to advance the rollout plan of the Vande Bharat trains and link at least 40 cities by August 2022. The minister has urged that the upgrade should portray the visible upgrade in the country’s rail services.
Hyderabad-based engineering firm Medha has been told to advance the production plan, so that minimum of two prototypes are successfully rolled out by March next year following all trials. Earlier this year in February, Medha had secured the contract to supply electrical systems for 44 Vande Bharat trains.
The ministry, in the contract condition, has mentioned that along with all trails and testing the Vande Bharat prototype train should be able to complete 1 lakh kilometers of commercial run with passengers, before the following lot is given green signal for production. Therefore, the Vande Bharat trains could take months before they commercially hit the tracks. Ideally, the plan was to roll out the first set of trains by December 2022 or early 2023.
A collection of 16 coaches, Vande Bharat is India’s very own semi-high speed train set. The self-propelled train does not require an engine to haul, this is known as the distributed traction power. The concept is increasingly becoming the norm across the globe and the use of locomotive-hauled trains is being ruled out.
It will be correct to say that Vande Bharat is India’s take on modern train travel. The upgraded trains will have automatic doors, airline-like seating, other upgraded features for the comfort and convenience of the passengers.
Currently, in India, there are only two Vande Bharat trains operational. One runs from Delhi to Varanasi and was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi back in 2019, while the other travels from Delhi to Katra.