New Delhi, India (Urban Transport News): The Indian Railways is preparing to roll out 10 more indigenous semi-high speed train sets (Vande Bharat Express) to connect over 40 Indian cities by 75th Independence day i.e. August 15, 2022. Ashwini Vaishnaw, the new Railway Minister of India has recently reviewed the high-speed rail and semi-high speed rail projects planned in India.
Railway Minister has directed the concerned railway officials to advance the rollout plan of the Vande Bharat trains and link at least 40 cities by August 2022. He has urged that the upgrade should portray the visible upgrade in the national rail services.
Hyderabad-based firm Medha Servo Drives Ltd was given the contract to supply the electrical systems for the development of 44 new Vande Bharat trains in January this year. The firm has now been directed to advance its production plan so that at least two prototypes can be rolled out by March 2022 following all trials.
According to the terms of the contract, 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.
Railway Officials said that if all three railway coach production units are put to use, we can manufacture around six to seven Vande Bharat train sets every month. The idea of the new plan is to get maximum train sets rolled out by 2024 by utilising Integral Coach Factory in Chennai, Modern Coach Factory in Raebareli and Rail Coach Factory in Kapurthala.
Currently, there are only two Vande Bharat trains are in operation. One runs from New Delhi to Varanasi and was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi back in 2019, while the other runs from New Delhi to Katra in Jammu.
The first two Vande Bharat Trains were developed in Indian Railways' Integral Coach Factory, Chennai.