Vande Bharat Completes One Year Of Operations, Registers Record Revenue For Railways

Aimed at offering travellers a comfortable and enhanced transportation service, the New Delhi-Varanasi Vande Bharat Express, India’s first indigenously-built Trainset, completes the first year of its successful run raking up about Rs 93 crore revenue, a record for the Indian Railways.

Vande Bharat Express, India’s first semi-high speed train, also known as Train-18 was manufactured at Integral Coach Factory (ICF), Chennai at an estimated cost of Rs 98 cr in October 2018. As the Metro train, the trainset is without a locomotive and can operate on a distributive power system.

It is a record that the revenue earned from the train is Rs 92.29 cr till today and we are hopeful that the complete manufacturing cost will be recovered in the next two months, a senior Railway Ministry official told this correspondent.

The Vande Bharat Express was flagged off by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on February 15, 2019 and the train commenced its commercial run on February 17. Since then it is running with 80 per cent to 100 per cent capacity and on average earns Rs 7 crore in a month, the official added.

One of the additional reasons for the higher returns is the absence of any concession. Also, the fare for the Vande Bharat Express is relatively higher than what is being currently charged for other trains.

.The 16-coach AC train is equipped with modern facilities and has a maximum speed of 160 kmph with maximum acceleration and deceleration rate.

Automatic doors, coach display, luggage rack, LED, mobile charging point and CCTVs and Emergency talkback units with networking system in all coaches are other features in the train that make it a premier service. The second Vande Bharat rake with similar upgraded amenities is running on New Delhi-Sri Mata Vaishno Devi Katra route successfully.

Buoyed by its success, the Railways will now have 44 more rakes of Vande Bharat Express made under the Make in India initiative for which tenders have been floated.

The tender inviting global players for making 44 rakes has generated keen interest in the market and many major players are likely to be a part of the bidding include Alstom, Siemens, Bombardier and Spanish major CAF. Indian companies like Bharat Heavy Electricals and Medha too may join the fray.

According to railways, since the service is aimed at saving 20 per cent journey time as compared to other trains, it is attracting a new class of passengers.

The new trainsets of the Vande Bharat Express will have luggage racks with reading lamps, direct lighting (for passengers) and diffused lighting (for luggage racks), continuous LED light fixtures.

There will be modular pantry equipment and a GPS antenna in all coaches and Mobile/laptop charging sockets in the passenger seats. The train will be fully air-conditioned with automatic plug doors with retractable footsteps and automatic intercommunication door.