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Vande Bharat in revival mode! Indian Railways to phase out old coaches and manufacture 8000 new ones

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Apr 9, 2023
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Indian Railways, in a significant move towards modernization and expansion of its train services, has announced plans to manufacture a total of 8,000 Vande Bharat coaches in the next few years. The plan is to revive and induct more of these semi-high-speed trainsets which have gained popularity for their efficiency and comfort, a report by The Indian Express stated.

Typically, a Vande Bharat Express trainset comprises 16 coaches, although it can run with eight coaches on routes as needed. The forthcoming production will see around two-thirds of the coaches being sourced from the industry through existing manufacturing and maintenance contracts, as outlined in the recently approved coach production program by the Railways Ministry.

Vande Bharat New Coaches: Construction and cost
Estimates suggest that a 16-coach trainset will cost approximately Rs 130 crore. The Integral Coach Factory (ICF) in Chennai, which is also where Vande Bharat was first manufactured, has been entrusted with inviting tenders for 3,200 Vande Bharat coaches of the sleeper variant. Until now, all Vande Bharat trains have been of the seating-only type.

However, with the planned expansion, 1,600 coaches will be produced at the ICF, while the remaining 1,600 will be divided between the other two production units, namely MCF-Raebareli and RCF-Kapurthala. The Railways officials told IE that they aim to roll out these new trainsets annually, with a target completion date of the year 2030-31.

In the ongoing financial year, the number of Vande Bharat rakes is expected to reach 75, compared to the current count of 25. The Railways Ministry officials anticipate the production of nearly 700 Vande Bharat coaches this year, in accordance with the plan, followed by an additional thousand coaches in 2024-25.

Vande Bharat Sleeper
Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw had earlier revealed that the first sleeper version of the Vande Bharat is likely to be introduced by early next year. Unlike the current variant, which is primarily used for trips covering distances of around 500 km, the sleeper version will be designed to handle longer distances between cities, quite similar to the Rajdhani trains.

The Railways officials foresee a future where only two types of coaches will be in circulation: the Vande and the LHB (Linke Hofmann Busch) coaches, as they gradually phase out the older ICF-variety coaches.

Several companies have secured contracts to contribute to the production of Vande Bharat coaches. Russian rolling-stock major TMH, in partnership with India’s Rail Vikas Nigam Limited, will manufacture 120 Vande Bharats, including the sleeper version. Additionally, BHEL has been awarded a contract to produce 80 coaches of the same variant. Furthermore, French major Alstom will be involved in manufacturing 100 Vande Bharat trains equipped with aluminum bodies.

With the ambitious plans in place, Indian Railways is set to significantly enhance its fleet capacity, providing passengers with more efficient and comfortable travel options across the country.
New look, new phase of IndIan railways running at speed 160 to 220km per hour. The goods traffic has been separated to separate high speed line (100km an hour). It is far superior to bankrupt Chinese bullet trains where $900 billion loans are unpaid.

There is something for Pakistan to learn who still operate colonial era rail network without any upgrade. They have to take away money from the military and spend it on civilian sector.

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