The rail network will be expanded for the modern semi-high-speed Vande Bharat Express trains, which run on various routes in the country. The tender process for 200 Vande Bharat sleeper trains is expected to be completed by the end of this month, according to some reports.
According to the Ministry of Railways, by 2025 there will be 278 Vande Bharat trains operating, but so far only eight of them have been operational. There are 78 Vande Bharat trains still to be built. ICF (Integral Coach Factory) Chennai, and Medha have been contracted to make the first 78 Vande Bharat trains. These train carriages are all chair cars.
75 Vande Bharat Express till 15 August 2023
Prime Minister Modi announced last year from the Red Fort that 75 Vande Bharat Express trains will be operated till 15 August 2023, which has caused a rapid acceleration in preparation. Additionally, Indian Railways has given permission for 478 Vande Bharat Trains to be prepared in total. As a next step, 200 Vande Bharat trains will be built. They will run at 160 km/h.
How soon can we expect 478 Vande Bharat Express Trains?
As informed by Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnav, sleeper Vande Bharat trains will be operated in the country shortly. Tenders will be called for these trains. Reports indicate that the tender for trains with Vande Bharat sleeper coaches will be called this month. The companies with the highest bids will win the contract to manufacture Vande Bharat Express Trains. All the 478 Vande Bharat Trains will be ready by 2027, according to the Railway Minister
It was also reported that the Railway will issue tender to the two lowest bidders. The lowest bidder will manufacture 120 Vande Bharat trains, while the other will manufacture 80 Vande Bharat trains.
Vande Bharat Trains with Sleeper Coaches
Sleeper versions of Vande Bharat are being developed by Indian Railways, which can reach 220 km/h. It is 40km/h faster than the current generation of Chair Car version of Vande Bharat Trains.
With aluminium being used instead of steel, as in the Vande Bharat 2.0, the weight of the train will be reduced, thereby increasing the speed. The semi-high-speed train has already become a center of attraction among train commuters.
Vande Bharat trains with sleeper coaches will capable of a speed of 220 km/h, but on tracks, they will run at a speed of 200 km/h. This speed will make the Vande Bharat trains the fastest trains in India by replacing Delhi-Meerut RRTS trains, which have a top speed of 180 km/h on tracks.
It is planned to replace the Shatabdi Express trains in a phased manner with the Vande Bharat Express trains, while Rajdhani Express trains will be replaced with the sleeper version of the Vande Bharat trains. An official said, “apart from this, anti-collision technical armour is being installed on both the railway routes at a cost of Rs 1,800 crore”.
There are 8 Vande Bharat trains running in India at present. Tickets for all the routes are available on Trainman. And the best part is, you can avail discounts of upto INR200 on booking your train ticket by using coupon code VB200.