Swachh Bharat: “14-Minute Miracle” Cleaning For Vande Bharat Trains At Stations; Initiative To Be Launched At Swachhta Drive


Taking a cue from the Japanese bullet train, Vande Bharat trains will now be cleaned and made ready for the next trip in just 14 minutes after passengers deboard the semi-high speed trains at destination stations.

Termed as the “14-minute miracle” scheme, this will be launched at 29 stations today (1 October), with the aim to drastically cut down the turn-around time of these premium trains.

The turn-around time currently is in the range of 45 minutes to 2 hours.

Indian Railways is implementing this on the lines of the “7-minute miracle” of the Shinkansen (bullet trains) cleaning in Japan, where the cleaning crew barely get about 7-8 minutes to get the trains ready for starting a new trip.

On an average, the bullet trains stop at Tokyo station for 12 minutes and passengers take five minutes to deboard and board the train. So, the cleaning crew has barely seven minutes to finish the job.

Today (1 October) when lakhs of people will volunteer for the one-hour Swachhta drive under “Swachhta hi Sewa” programme, at nearly nine lakh spots, the Railways will launch this initiative at three stations in Delhi.

The Union Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw will be leading from the front demonstrating this, at the Delhi Cantonment station.

The other stations where this will be done include Varanasi, Mysuru, Gandhinagar, Chennai, Tirupati, Nagpur, Puri, Howrah, Guwahati and Lucknow.

The Railways carried out three rounds of trials at Anand Vihar station in Delhi. While in the first trial, the crew could complete it in 28 minutes, they could complete the task in 18 minutes in the second trial.

In the third trial, the Railways achieved 14 minutes and now that has been set as the benchmark.

The cleaning will be done manually, and the staff have been trained for this. The Railway Board has instructed all zones and divisions to ensure that the cleaning of trains start only after all passengers have deboarded.

“Once we do this, we can operate more trains on our routes. We will extend this to other trains gradually, but in those cases the time frame will be different,” the Railways maintains.

Currently, 34 Vande Bharat Express, which translates to 68 services, are operational and the plan is to take total such trains to 75.

Besides, the Railways plans to make 400 Sleeper Vande Bharat trains, to run long-distance destinations, operational in the next couple of years.

Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, launched by Prime Minister on 2 October 2014, has now turned into a national movement.

The Railways has planned to conduct a massive cleanliness drive led by people on 2 October 2023, with the volunteers contributing at least one hour of Shramdaan as a tribute to Mahatma Gandhi.

Around 22,000 events have been planned over all by the Indian Railways, for this mega cleanliness drive.

Railways is an environment friendly means of bulk transportation and it has always been in the forefront of promoting clean and green environment.

It has taken several initiatives for providing clean environment in around railway stations and trains such as bio-toilets on coaches leading to clean tracks, segregation of bio degradable/non bio degradable waste, solid waste management, discourage use of single use plastic etc.