The first consignment of the wheels of the Vande Bharat train has been airlifted to India from Romania. Due to roadblocks in the procurement of wheels from war-torn Ukraine, the trial run of the train has been delayed, and now it will be conducted in the month of August instead of later this month, according to sources quoted in a PTI report. A batch of 128 wheels of Vande Bharat train was transported from Ukraine to its neighbouring country Romania by road and the wheels are now being airlifted to India. The Vande Bharat wheels will reach Chennai Airport in three lots. The first, which comprised around 42 wheels, arrived on Wednesday. The other two lots will reach Chennai on May 13 and May 14, they said.
The wheels will be taken from Chennai to the Hyderabad-based company- Medha Servo Drives, which won the contract for designing as well as manufacturing propulsion, control along with other equipment needed for the production of 44 Vande Bharat-type trainsets’ rakes. The firm has been asked by Indian Railways to deliver the complete assembled bogie, not merely the design. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced in her Budget speech that in the next three years, 400 Vande Bharat trains will be manufactured. This also comes with a plan, which was announced by PM Modi, to run as many as 75 Vande Bharat trains across the country by Independence Day in 2023.
The original plan, the report said, was to start rolling out these Vande Bharat trains from May this year. According to the report, the first one was scheduled to undergo testing and trials in the month of May and the second in the month of June. From th period August-September, five to seven Vande Bharat-type trainsets will be produced per month in ICF Chennai, RCF Kapurthala and MCF Rae Bareli, as per the plan.
According to officials, Indian Railways is set to meet the target set by the PM with orders for wheels that were given to a Ukraine-based company being routed to other firms. An official said the work is going on at different production units simultaneously and since the other parts are here already, there should not be any other delays. The official believes that the target can be achieved before August 15 next year.