With the launch of the Vande Bharat Express heralding a new era for railway travel in India, the national transporter is now looking to increasingly focus on semi-high speed trains. Train 18 has attained 180 kmph speed during trials.
Indian Railways to focus on semi-high speed trains! With the launch of the Vande Bharat Express heralding a new era for railway travel in India, the national transporter is now looking to increasingly focus on semi-high speed trains. Vande Bharat Express, or Train 18 as it was codenamed, is a self-propelled engine-less train set that attained speeds of 180 kmph during trials, making it the fastest Indian Railways train. Rajesh Agrawal, Member Rolling Stock, Railway Board recently said that Indian Railways will soon enter the era of semi-high speed train services. Apart from better trains that can take speeds of up 1o 160 kmph, semi-high speed travel also requires upgradation of tracks and signalling infrastructure.
Agrawal, while attending the three-day national level conference on ‘New Trends in Rolling Stock – Challenges Ahead Keeping Customers Satisfaction as Top Agenda’, stated that Train 18 or the Vande Bharat Express is a game changer in the rail transport sector and that the Railway Board is keen to continue its manufacturing, with sleeper-version coaches being planned as well. Financial Express Online was the first to report that design work on the sleeper-version of Vande Bharat Express has started and the Rajdhani-like engine-less train set is likely to be ready in the first half of 2020.
Agarwal also discussed that several initiatives have been taken for the growth of the Indian Railways network with passenger amenities including quick watering system, which is to enhance customer comfort. He also mentioned that all ICF-design rakes are being upgraded under Project Utkrist. He added that in order to increase the speed of intercity trains, the conventional coaches will have to be replaced with electric-multiple unit (EMU) rakes equipped with automatic door system and so on in a phased manner.
The production units of the railway network have also been equipped to Industry 4.0 stage and have attained capability to produce metro coaches for domestic use as well as export purpose, he added. With the addition of new Vande Bharat Express coaches, a giant transformative leap awaits the national railway sector. Said to be the future of railway travel in the country, Train 18 is a self-propelled, state of the art train which includes several passenger-friendly features such as European-style comfortable seats, rotating seats in Executive chair car, aircraft-like diffused lighting as well as modular bio vacuum toilets.