With the aim of reducing the travel time between two cities, the Indian Railway is planning to introduce semi-high speed Vande Bharat trains in place of Shatabdi and intercity express on all prominent routes of the country including Mumbai -Pune and Mumbai -Ahmadabad. According to sources, initially 27 prominent intercity routes of the country were identified by railway to run Vande Bharat trains near future.
Confirming the devlopment, Ashwani Vaishnaw, minister of railways said, "Indian Railway will get two more trains in August 2022, after that every month four Vande Bharat trains will be produced at different rail coach factories of the country including Latur".
Accoeding to Vaishnav, the production of Vande Bharat trains in Marathwada rail coach factory is likely to start in the next 6 months. Asked about the introduction of Vande Bharat trains on Mumbai Pune route, Vaishnaw said, "We are trying our best to introduce semi-high speed Vande Bharat trains on all prominent intercity routes by next year but it depends on the availability of rakes".
Currently, Vande Bharat trains have an only seating arrangements, these trains are initially slated to replace the Shatabdi, Jan Shatabdi and Intercity Express. However, there is also a plan to build Vande Bharat with sleeper coaches as a replacement to Rajdhani, Duronto trains in future.
During the Budget 2022 presentation, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had proposed to have 400 new Vande Bharat trains over the next three years. At present, the semi high-speed train is running on two routes, Delhi- Varanasi and Delhi- Katra.
Vande Bharat trains are being run without a locomotive engine and are propelled by a mechanism called distributed traction power technology that provides electric energy supply to each car in the train set. Because of the faster acceleration, the train can run at a top speed of 160 km in an hour reducing travel time by up to 25 to 45 per cent.