India is a vast and diverse country with many cities and towns connected by railways. Railways are one of the most popular and affordable modes of transport for millions of Indians who travel for work, education, tourism, or other purposes. However, some of the existing railway services need to be faster, more convenient, and meet the expectations of modern passengers who want faster, safer, and more comfortable journeys.
To address this gap, Indian Railways has designed and developed a new type of train, called the Vande Sadharan Express, which is a non-AC sleeper cum unreserved class service that is designed to cost low and serve longer distances. The Vande Sadharan Express is expected to be launched by 20 November 2023
The Vande Sadharan Express is a push-pull train, which means it has locomotives at both ends, enabling quicker acceleration and shorter turnaround times. The train has 22 coaches, of which 12 are non-AC sleeper classes, 8 are general unreserved classes, and 2 are luggage coaches. The train can accommodate approximately 1800 passengers throughout its journey.
The Vande Sadharan Express has many features and facilities that make it a modern and convenient option for long-distance travel. Some of these are:
- The coaches are made of spot-welded stainless steel, which makes them stronger and lighter than conventional coaches. They also have a sealed gangway to provide a safe transition between coaches and to reduce noise and vibrations.
- The coaches are equipped with CCTV cameras, bio-vacuum toilets, sensor-based water taps, a passenger information system, electric outlets, and LED lights, and the fans and switches have a modern design.
- The train has a maximum speed limit of 130 kmph, which is ideal for covering longer routes exceeding 500 kilometres. The train can also support semi-high speeds, but due to the railway track speed capacity, multiple stoppages, and traffic congestion, the operating speed of the services is limited to the range of 110–130 kmph.
- The train is designed to provide comparable amenities to the Vande Bharat trains at lower costs. The fare of the Vande Sadharan Express is expected to be 10-15% lower than the existing superfast trains.
The Vande Sadharan Express is a part of the Indian Railways’ vision to provide faster, safer, and more comfortable travel options to the common people. The train is also a tribute to the ordinary citizens of India, who have contributed to the nation’s progress and development.
The Vande Sadharan Express is expected to connect Indian cities that are at distances of more than 800 km or take more than ten hours to travel with existing services. The first service is proposed to run between Mumbai and Ahmedabad, which are about 500 km apart. The train has recently completed its trial run from Mumbai to Ahmedabad and back and has received positive feedback from the officials and the media.