Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw announced on Thursday (May 25) that, by February-March of the upcoming year, three variations of Vande Bharat trains will be introduced.
These three formats include Vande Chair Car, Vande Metro, and Vande Sleeper. With the aim to replace Shatabdi, Rajdhani, and local trains, these indigenous 'semi-high speed' trains are currently being manufactured at the coach manufacturing factory located in Chennai.
In an interview with 'PTI', Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw revealed that railway tracks would undergo upgrades over the next three to four years to enable maximum speeds of 160 km per hour for Vande Bharat trains.
Following the successful launch of the Vande Bharat train from Dehradun in Uttarakhand to Anand Vihar Terminal railway station in Delhi, Vaishnaw elaborated on the three formats of Vande Bharat trains.
The Vande Metro format is designed for journeys less than 100 kilometres, Vande Chair Car for distances ranging from 100 to 550 kilometres, and Vande Sleeper for journeys exceeding 550 kilometres.
Vaishnaw further assured that all three formats would be operational and ready for service by the forthcoming February-March period.
On May 25, Prime Minister Modi inaugurated the Delhi-Dehradun Vande Bharat Express, marking the first-of-its-kind train service for Uttarakhand.
This revolutionary train significantly reduces the travel time between the state capital and the national capital to four-and-a-half hours, compared to the previous duration of six hours and 10 minutes taken by the Dehradun-New Delhi Shatabdi Express from the railway station.
Ashwini Vaishnaw, in his statement, assured that each state would receive a Vande Bharat train by mid-June.
The Vande Bharat trains are specifically designed for a maximum speed of 160 kmph; however, their operational speeds will vary based on the track's capacity, reaching up to 130 kmph.
Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw highlighted that the existing tracks were originally designed to accommodate speeds ranging from 70 to 80 kmph.
To enhance the railway infrastructure, approximately 25,000-35,000 km of tracks are undergoing upgrades to support speeds of 110 kmph, 130 kmph, and 160 kmph.
This comprehensive track improvement project is scheduled to be completed within the next three to four years.
The minister expressed the railways' swift progress in rail connectivity projects for border areas. Additionally, he mentioned the implementation of measures to ensure 4G-5G services for railway passengers.
Ashwini Vaishnaw highlighted the rapid installation of 4G-5G towers by the Railways, stating that they have already been deployed at numerous locations, with continuous efforts in this regard.