Why Indian Railways delayed the production of more Vande Bharat Express train sets this financial year

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Published: September 10, 2019 3:05:14 PM

The production of these self-propelled engine-less train sets was stopped at the Integral Coach Factory (ICF) in Chennai earlier this year, over allegations of favouritism and lack of transparency.

Vande Bharat ExpressThe train’s energy consumption was much more than the world standards. Therefore, it was realized that for mass production, Indian Railways cannot have such high energy consumption.

No more Vande Bharat Express rakes will be manufactured this financial year! The Railway Board on Monday announced that Indian Railways has delayed the production of the third Train 18 rake due to excessive energy consumption by the indigenous train. However, the issues with the train have been addressed and as many as 40 such trains will be manufactured in the coming two financial years. According to Railway Board Chairman V K Yadav, the train’s energy consumption was much more than the world standards. Therefore, it was realized that for mass production, Indian Railways cannot have such high energy consumption. Thus, the national transporter decided to review the specifications through RDSO so that the Train 18 or Vande Bharat Express train sets are energy efficient, Yadav said.

The Railway Board Chairman further said that even though, no Vande Bharat Express trains can be manufactured in 2019-2020, the national transporter will produce 15 such train sets between 2020-2021, and 25 train sets in 2021-2022. The production of these self-propelled engine-less train sets was stopped at the Integral Coach Factory (ICF) in Chennai earlier this year, over allegations of favouritism and lack of transparency. However, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal met representatives of manufacturers on July 2 and promised a transparent level-playing field to all of them.

At present, only one Vande Bharat Express train runs on Indian Railways’ network, connecting Delhi to Varanasi. While the second Vande Bharat Express is likely to start operations between Delhi and Katra soon. The train has 16 coaches with a total of 1,128 seats for passengers to sit.

Manufactured under the ambitious ‘Make in India’ initiative of Modi government, the train boasts various passenger-friendly facilities and amenities such as on board hotspot WiFi for entertainment purposes, bio-vacuum type toilets, automatic doors, comfortable seating, GPS based audio-visual passenger information system, LED lighting, etc. The upcoming new train is expected to reduce travel time between Delhi and Katra to around eight hours from the current time of 12 hours.

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