Indian Railways struggles to meet target of 75 Vande Bharat trains by August 15

Indian Railways struggles to meet target of 75 Vande Bharat trains by August 15

In an attempt to increase the number of trains deployed, the Railways has opted to introduce smaller eight-coach versions of the Vande Bharat Express.

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Thursday, May 25, 2023, 11:02 AM IST
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Vande Bharat Express | File

The Indian Railways faces challenges in achieving its ambitious goal of rolling out 75 Vande Bharat Express trains by August 15. As a result, the Railways has resorted to deploying smaller eight-coach versions of the train, allowing for a higher number of trains without producing the standard 16-coach variants. However, the average speed of these trains is considerably lower than their billed top speed, currently reaching only 64 kmph.

Despite the setbacks in production, the Railways Minister, Ashwini Vaishnaw, has expressed optimism that the pace will increase, with the goal of rolling out a train every three days a report in Indian Express stated.

Production Challenges and Delayed Timeline

Since 2021, various factors have contributed to the delay in the production of Vande Bharat Express trainsets. The process of finalizing specifications, tender conditions, industry consultations, and internal organizational issues have hindered progress, despite the first train's launch in February 2019.

Alternative Approach: Smaller Eight-Coach Trains

In an attempt to increase the number of trains deployed, the Railways has opted to introduce smaller eight-coach versions of the Vande Bharat Express. While this allows for a greater volume of trains, it deviates from the original plan of standard 16-coach variants. By adopting this alternative approach, the Railways aims to mitigate the production challenges and expedite the rollout process.

Lower Average Speeds and Track Restrictions

The currently deployed Vande Bharat Express trains are operating at an average speed as low as 64 kmph, far below their advertised top speed of 160 kmph. These trains are subject to technical speed restrictions imposed by the tracks, resulting in speeds comparable to existing superfast trains like the Rajdhanis and Shatabdis. Generally, the trains have been permitted to run at a maximum speed of 130 kmph.

The Railway spokesperson has assured that efforts are underway to remove permanent speed restrictions on the tracks, a continuous process involving the engagement of Divisional Railway Managers (DRMs) and General Managers (GMs).

Outlook and Future Prospects

Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw remains hopeful that the production pace will soon accelerate, enabling the Railways to meet its target of rolling out 75 Vande Bharat Express trains. The Minister expressed confidence in achieving the goal of delivering a train every three days. While technical speed restrictions persist, efforts are underway to address these issues, aiming to enhance the overall speed and efficiency of the Vande Bharat Express trains.

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