Vivek SharmaOne hour ago
Officers investigating before starting Vandi Bharat’s trial.
Railways has taken a big step towards achieving the target of launching more than 400 Vande Bharat trains in India by 2025. Northern Railway has conducted 5 speed trials between Sahewal and New Morinda Junction railway station on Saturday.
In these trials, the train was tested at a speed of 105 to 115 kmph. Sand bangs (earthen sacks) were kept in place of passengers in the train so that it could be known in the true sense whether the tracks of Firozpur division can bear the speed of Vande Bharat. At present, two Vande Bharat is currently running from Delhi to Katra and Katra to Delhi. This was a dummy trial of an improved model of the train.
Notably, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in her budget speech in February this year had announced plans to start 400 Vande Bharat trains across the country in the next three years.
According to officials, the first three trials were held on Friday as part of the ongoing process, in which the speed was kept from 90 km to 105. The same 5 trials were held today in which the speed was kept from 105 to 115 kmph. With the increase in speed, new designs will be seen in the coaches of Vande Bharat train. A total of 6 trials are to be held tomorrow with 16 coaches of the train set.
Vande Bharat going from Sahnewal to Morinda.
According to officials, the Railways has drawn up a road map to come up with semi-high-speed Vande Bharat train sets, which are much higher than the existing trains. Officials said that running high speed train sets will save time of passengers. The existing two trains are running at a speed of 160 kmph, but the new Vande Bharat train sets will have a top speed of 180 kmph to 260 kmph.
Seats in Vande Bharat which are already filled from Delhi to Katra. It is being told that railways is going to bring more than 70 such luxury trains next year which will capture maximum rail traffic in metro cities in India. Other major trains including Shatabdi and other express trains may suffer losses. A senior railway official in Ludhiana said that trains going especially to Bihar and Uttar Pradesh will not be affected as the fares of these trains are already low and if Vande Bharat is a luxury train then the fares will also be accordingly.
On the other hand, the existing Vande Bharat trains already have new facilities for the passengers, including 3-D movies etc. and music for their entertainment. As announced by the Finance Minister in his budget speech, 400 new Vande Bharat trains will cost the central government around 50,000 crores.
DRM Seema Sharma said that senior Northern Railway officials have deputed a set of competent Vande Bharat crew and guards for the said trials. Nothing is known about when the new trains are to start and whether the route map will be there. The trials of the rest of Vande Bharat are definitely happening. These are speed tests and the train is being run to carry sandbags for now.