300 More Vande Bharat Trains Likely To Be Announced In Next Budget

Snapshot
  • Indian Railway has finalised tenders for 502 Vande Bharat trains, of which 200 trainsets would have a sleeper facility.

    The sleeper design for Vande Bharat is almost final, and manufacturing of these trains with sleeper will begin shortly.

The Union Budget for 2023-24 will likely announce 300 more Vande Bharat trains to provide further fillip to the indigenously built semi-high speed trains. If budgetary support comes through, the country will produce 800 trainsets in the next five years.

The gross budgetary support (GBS) to Indian Railways for the next fiscal is also set to increase substantially from Rs 1.37 lakh cr in the last financial year in the rail sector.

Indian Railways is also planning to export Vande Bharat trains to South America, East Asia and neighbouring countries.

By 2025-26 India will be a significant exporter of rail-based systems and technology powerhouse, said Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw.

He added that railways would construct a 59 km long standard gauge test track in Jodhpur for the trial of Vande Bharat trains at a maximum speed of 220 kmph.

Vande Bharat trains manufactured at ICF Chennai are designed to run at a maximum speed of 180 kmph on broad gauge operation.

In an informal interaction with reporters, Vaishnaw said “Vande Bharat is a superior product with low cost. Currently only eight countries are having 180 kmph speed technology. The focus is to bring in new technology every year.”

Indian Railway has finalised tenders for 502 Vande Bharat trains, of which 200 trainsets would have a sleeper facility.

The sleeper design for Vande Bharat is almost final, and manufacturing of these trains with sleeper will begin shortly.

The Railway Minister said that the first such train with a sleeper facility would roll out in the first quarter of 2024.

About the current delay in the production of the Vande Bharat trains, the minister said from January-February, the production would be ramped up. It took almost four months to improve the design and reduce vibration.

While it is 80 decibels in airlines, it is 60 decibels in Vande Bharat, he noted.

He said there would be 100 Vande Bharat trains with tilting technology to improve speed.

The minister said Vande Bharat trains would be manufactured at Raebareli, Latur, and Sonepat, besides Kapurthala and ICF.

According to RITES, the Railways PSU, neighbouring countries such as Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Nepal have expressed interest in Vande Bharat trains.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked the Railways to produce at least 75 Vande Bharat trains by August 2023 to launch the services connecting 75 key cities as part of the central government’s plans to celebrate 75 years of Independence.

Until now, only five such trains have been manufactured at ICF, thus posing a big challenge for the Railways to meet the target of 75 by Independence Day next year.

The manufacturing cost of a 16-coach Vande Bharat train is around Rs 130 cr.

The cost advantage of Vande Bharat trains could make it a strong contender for any country looking to strengthen inter-city travel infrastructure.