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Current Affairs

Fast-tracking Vande Bharat

Date: 07 February 2022 Tags: Railways

Issue

Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman has announced the manufacturing of 400 new Vande Bharat trains in the next 3 years.

 

Background

The Vande Bharat trains were introduced in 2019. They were initially known as Train 18 and are currently running from Delhi to Varanasi and Katra.

 

Details

  • The announcement signals the intention of the government to make these trains the future normal for India’s railway system instead of locomotives.

  • There are also plans by the government to run 75 Vande Bharats across India by Independence Day in 2023.

 

Vande Bharat trains

  • It is a self-propelled, semi-high speed train-set that runs without a locomotive engine, similar to metro trains.

  • It runs on a method known as distributed traction power system which gives it higher acceleration and deceleration compared to loco-hauled trains.

  • The conventional train takes longer time to reach top speed or to gradually come to a halt. It also looses lots of time due to lower speeds.

  • The current Vande Bharat trains operate in only chair car and executive chair car. There are future plans of making sleeper coaches.

 

Cost of operation

  • The total cost of constructing announced Vande Bharat trains amounts to Rs 50,000 crore. The current cost for one train amounts to Rs 106 crore and would increase due to various factors.

  • The project could generate employment to the tune of 10,000 to 15,000. Pumping money would be a big boost for component manufacturing, supplies etc.

 

The upgradation

  • The new trains will be better in terms of better seating, anti-bacterial system in AC, less noise, the ability to hit 160 km/h in 140 seconds, and other aspects.

  • There are plans to bring in sleeper-type Vande Bharats for overnight journeys. They may be introduced in the upcoming batches.

  • The train bodies are being planned to be made in aluminium instead of steel. They will be lighter and consume less energy and attain high speed.

  • The cost of train could be higher but it can translate into higher earning potential through energy saving cost.

 

Challenges

Delivering propulsion systems within three years is a big task. Railways will need to pool its all resources to ensure the project delivers on time.