News Railways

Railways speeds up capex spending, plans roll out of Vande Bharat with sleeper coach in next Feb, ET Infra


NEW DELHI: In a quantum jump, the railways has spent around Rs 1.4 lakh crore in the first six months of the current financial year in infrastructure creation, which is nearly 58% of the capital expenditure (Capex) allocated for the current financial year.

It has also set the target of November this year to complete all the preparations for projects to be taken up in 2024-25 for advanced planning and faster implementation.

Along with these, the Indian Railways is taking steps to run next-generation trains as it plans to roll out the Vande Bharat trains with sleeper coaches in February next year. Officials said the interiors of the sleeper coaches are being finalised keeping in mind the comfort of passengers. The next-generation interiors will take care of the passengers’ requirements such as enough space and good design stairs for those getting upper berths.

The first version of the Vande Bharat sleeper train with 857 berths is being manufactured at the Integral Coach Factory (ICF) in Chennai. The train will have 823 berths for passengers and 34 for staff. Every coach will have three toilets instead of four and a mini pantry.

Currently, the Central government PSU, BEML is manufacturing 10 such trains for ICF.

Sources said the final design of the train has gone through many changes. These trains will be a significant addition to the Indian Railways fleet, as these will cater to the needs of long-distance travel and overnight journeys.
As of now there are 33 Vande Bharat trains with only seating facilities operational across the country. There will be a total of 75 Vande Bharat trains with seating arrangements.

The national transporter is also going to introduce ramps in trains for the convenience of wheelchair users and senior citizens. It released the pictures of the newly designed ramps on Saturday, which have been used at the Chennai railway station and found to be helpful for passengers who require a ramp.

These will be introduced soon in Vande Bharat trains and subsequently in all other trains. The railways is working on a system is being worked out to let passengers raise a need for a wheelchair at the time of booking tickets. Officials said an alert can be generated and passed on to the respective railway stations for keeping a ramp ready for such passengers.

These ramps can be easily placed at train doors and because of its width and low gradient, wheelchair users will find it easy to use it.

  • Published On Oct 2, 2023 at 07:49 AM IST

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