NEW DELHI (Metro Rail News): In order to match the speed of trains operating in European countries, Indian Railways is gradually boosting the speed of the locally produced Vande Bharat Express.
The Vande Bharat Express train’s new version will accelerate from 160 kilometres per hour (kmph) to 180 kilometres per hour (kmph) this year. By 2025, the train is anticipated to travel at 220 kph, then accelerate to 260 kmph, matching the average speed of high-speed trains in Europe.
The development of the Vande Bharat trains took a leaf out of Japan’s book, where bullet trains continuously increased their speed since their introduction in 1959. Currently, they travel at a speed of about 320 kmph, Railways minister Ashwani Vaishnaw stated.
Additionally, Vande Bharat would gradually raise its pace while also enhancing the security and safety of all passengers.
The Vande Bharat trains’ first version, which can travel at 160 kmph, was introduced in 2019 as part of the Make in India project. The second version, which will begin running this month, has increased this to 180kmph. By the 15th of August of next year, 75 of these trains will be deployed as part of the nation’s 75th-anniversary festivities.
Vaishnaw stated, Vande Bharat versions 3 and 4 will travel at speeds of around 220 and 260 kilometres per hour, respectively.
By December, the Vande Bharat 3 tender is anticipated to be completed, and the high-speed train is anticipated to join the Indian Railways fleet by 2025.
“Since train began operating in the nation in 2019, the India Vande Bharat trains have travelled 1.8 million kilometres. The trains will become the main source of high-speed transit in the nation because the technology is now proven, Vaishnaw stated.
The Vande Bharat 2 is an enhanced model of the original, offering a smoother ride thanks to the usage of air springs. Additionally, the train will have superior interiors and seating as well as an integrated anti-collision system. With the substantial usage of aluminium and better wheels for quick acceleration, Vande Bharat 3 would also be lighter.
The 163kmph-capable bullet train project in Japan began construction in 1959. Prior to attaining the present speed of 320kmph in 2013, this increased from 210kmph in 1964 to 270kmph in 1992 and 300kmph in 1997.
Over the next three years, Indian Railways has set a goal of producing 300 Vande Bharat train sets (2025). By 2028, this will rise to 500 trains. By August 2023—75 years after India gained independence—the Railways must have built at least 75 of these trains, added Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The idea is to use these trains to connect 75 significant Indian cities.
To fulfil the goal of 500 trains, the Integral Coach Factory in Chennai, Indian Railways, intends to produce approximately 10 Vande Bharat trains per month. Eventually, the Rail Coach Factory in Kapurthala and the Modern Coach Factory in Raebareli are also anticipated to begin producing these coaches.
On the Delhi-Katra and Delhi-Varanasi routes, there are two separate sets of Vande Bharat trains operating. By August, two more Vande Bharat semi-high-speed trains are anticipated to start running.
The new trains would be an improvement over the first version since they would be equipped with Kavach, the most recent train accident prevention system used by the railways. The coaches will also have contemporary fire alarms, emergency light systems, exits, and a seating arrangement similar to that of an aeroplane with a reinforced exterior to reduce damage.
A 16-coach Vande Bharat train costs around 130 crores to manufacture, making the Vande Bharat trains cost-competitive as well.