DEHRADUN: There will be three versions of Vande Bharat trains — Vande Chair Car, Vande Metro and Vande Sleepers — by February-March next year, Union Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said on Thursday. These indigenous semi-high speed trains, which are being prepped to replace Shatabdis, Rajdhanis and local trains, are being made at the Integrated Coach Factory in Chennai.
In an interview with PTI, the minister said in the next three to four years, railway tracks will be upgraded to support the maximum speed of 160 kmph of Vande Bharat trains.
“There are three formats of Vande Bharat. Vande Metro for less than 100 kilometres, Vande Chair Car for 100-550 kilometres and Vande Sleepers for a journey beyond 550 kilometres. These three formats will be ready by February-March (next year),” Vaishnaw said after the launch of a Vande Bharat train from Uttarakhand’s Dehradun to the Anand Vihar Terminal Railway Station in Delhi.
The Delhi-Dehradun Vande Bharat Express was flagged off by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Equipped with state-of-the-art amenities for passengers, the first such train for Uttarakhand reduces the journey time between state capital Dehradun and the national capital to four and a half hours from the six hours and 10 minutes it took the Dehradun-New Delhi Railway Station Shatabdi Express.
Vaishnaw said every state will get a Vande Bharat train by mid-June. The production of these trains is being expedited, the minister said.
“Every eighth or ninth day, a new train is coming out of the factory. Work is going to start at two more factories. We will have a new train coming out of these factories once their supply chain gets stabilised,” Vaishnaw said.
Vande Bharat trains are designed with a top speed of 160 kmph but they will run at a speed of up to 130 kmph according to track capacity.
“Old tracks were designed to support speeds between 70 and 80 kmph. Around 25,000-35,000 kilometres of tracks are being upgraded to support speeds of 110 kmph, 130 kmph and 160 kmph. It will be done in the next three to four years,” Vaishnaw said.
The minster said the railways is expeditiously working on a rail connectivity projects for border areas. Steps are also being taken to provide 4G-5G services to train passengers, Vaishnaw said.
The minister said 4G-5G towers are getting expeditiously installed by the railways. At many places they have been installed and work is going on continuously, he said.
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