The next set of Vande Bharat trains will come with new facilities, including centralised coach monitoring systems and features specially designed for emergency evacuation, officials said. Prime Minister Narendra Modi this August 15 had announced that 75 Vande Bharat Express trains will connect every corner of the country in 75 weeks of the Amrit Mahotsav of Independence.
These will be in addition to the Indian Railways two existing Vande Bharat Express trains. The first was launched on the Varanasi-Delhi route and the second on the Katra-Delhi route. The Shatabdi-type semi-high speed trains already have amenities like onboard infotainment, GPS-based passenger information system, CCTV cameras, automatic sliding doors with retractable coach footsteps and zero discharge vacuum-based bio-toilets.
The new improved features on these Vande Bharat trains will include four emergency windows for easy evacuation of passengers in case of emergencies, the officials said. Four disaster lights will also be provided in each coach to be used in the event of failure of all other lights in a disaster situation, they said.
The number of emergency push buttons will also be increased from the present two to four. The officials said that a centralised coach monitoring system for all electrical and climate controls and functioning of other vital systems of the train set has been introduced.
The trains will have a push back arrangement for reclining of seats for a more comfortable travel experience, they said. The new trains will also have fire survival cables in door circuits, the officials said.
The system of air purification has also been reworked with availability of ventilation for three hours in case of failure of power supply to the roof mounted air conditioning package unit. This will mean better availability, and a more reliable and bacteria free air conditioning system, officials said.
The trains will also be provided with higher flood protection underframe equipment to ensure reliability during heavy rains. The first prototype rake with these specifications is tentatively planned to be dispatched in March 2022, which will be put for commercial service tentatively by June 2022, the officials said.