Vande Bharat Express: India's fastest engine-less Train 18 has been damaged twice due to stone pelting during trial runs.
Vande Bharat Express: India’s fastest engine-less Train 18 has been damaged twice due to stone pelting during trial runs. Even as it looks to sensitise and educate people about the need to protect national assets, Indian Railways is already working on steps to protect more such self-propelled train sets from damage. A senior ICF official has told Financial Express Online that in the new Train 18 set, which is currently being manufactured, special frames will be used in the windows to make the glass “shatter-proof”. According to Shubhranshu, Principal Chief Mechanical Engineer at ICF Chennai, the new Train 18 or Vande Bharat Express rake will be ready for roll-out by the end of March this year.
A few days ago, some miscreants had pelted stones at the Vande Bharat Express during its trial run. This was the second such incident – the first took place in December when the window glass of a coach had been severely damaged. Talking about what Indian Railways is doing to protect passengers in the train from such incidents, Shubhranshu told Financial Express Online that new frames will be fitted in the windows which will make the glass “shatter-proof”. “While the glass can still break in case the train is hit by stones while it is running at a higher speed, the frames will ensure that the glass does not shatter and hit passengers,” Shubhranshu said. From the third Train 18 rake, instead of frames, shatter-proof, laminated glass will be fitted by ICF, Chennai, he added.
Apart from “shatter-proof” windows, the new Train 18 or Vande Bharat Express rake will have a bigger pantry in each coach. According to Shubhranshu, IRCTC has said that since Train 18 will cover longer distances, passengers will be served two meals. Hence, the catering arm of Indian Railways wants more space to keep food on board. The new Vande Bharat Express rake being manufactured under ‘Make in India’ at ICF Chennai, will address this need.
The first Train 18 or Vande Bharat Express will run between Delhi and Varanasi, covering the distance in 8 hours. The self-propelled engine-less train hit speeds of 180 kmph during its trials, but has been given clearance to run at 160 kmph. On the Delhi-Varanasi route, the maximum speed will be 130 kmph.