Ashwini Vaishnav, Railway Minister, has finalized plans to launch about 10 new Vande Bharat trains by August next year in honor of the 75th anniversary of independence.
The Vande Bharat train set is India’s self-developed semi-high-speed train set that meets international standards and travels faster than the Rajdhani and Shatabdi trains.
By 2024, the government of India plans to add a maximum of 100 Vande Bharat trains.
Suneet Sharma, chairman of the Railway Board, chaired a meeting on July 17 where it was decided to execute the launch of at least 10 new Vande Bharat trains by August 2022 in the presence of concerned parties.
There will be 10 new Vande Bharat trains
Ashwini Vaishnav has directed his officials to implement the plan to roll out about 10 Vande Bharat trains by August 2022 to commemorate India’s 75th anniversary of independence.
The Hyderabad-based engineering firm Medha was awarded the contract by Railways to supply the electrical systems for 44 Vande Bharat trains in February.
It has been revealed that the firm has now been instructed to advance its production plan so that at least two prototypes can be rolled out for trials by March 2022.
On Saturday, the Railway Board held a meeting headed by chairman Suneet Sharma. It was attended by Board members concerned, General Managers of production units, the Research Design and Standards Organisation, and other engineers to work out the nuts and bolts of the new plan on a war footing.
According to officials, if all three production units, namely
- Integral Coach Factory, Chennai
- Modern Coach Factory, Raebareli, and
- Rail Coach Factory, Kapurthala
Work together, Railways can manufacture up to 6 or 7 Vande Bharat train sets each month.
Currently, two Vande Bharat trains are operating. PM Narendra Modi inaugurated the first train on February 15, 2019; it began commercial operation on February 17, 2019; it runs on the Delhi-Varanasi route, via Kanpur and Prayagraj. The second train will run in 2020, connecting Delhi and Katra.
It would cost about Rs 11,000 crore to manufacture 100 Vande Bharat trains, with individual trains costing about Rs 110 crore.