Indian Railway is on its toes to deliver faster travel options to users. India has recently received a couple of semi-high-speed trains in the form of Vande Bharat Express. The railway minister has further confirmed that India will be having a total of 475 Vande Bharat Express trains by 2025, which is three years from now. The plan for the production of these 475 trains in three years is also on track, Vaishnaw confirmed. He furth spoke about the arrival of bullet trains during a conclave. The minister said that bullet trains will be fully functional by 2026.
On the redevelopment of railway stations, the minister said that master plans for 138 stations have been made, while designs have been finalized for as many as 57 stations.
“The target of having 475 Vande Bharat trains…Is on track. In the last budget, 400 trains were sanctioned and before that 75 had been sanctioned. We will be achieving the entire target in the coming three years,” he said.
The minister said that Vande Bharat has evoked good interest among many countries and its quality parameters match world-class trains.
Replying to a question on safety aspects amid incidents of cattle hits involving Vande Bharat trains, the minister said that the train’s ‘crumble zones’ are designed to absorb the impact, restricting damage to the front portion.
“The Vande Bharat has a design where the front portion is designed to dismantle…So only the front portion is dismantled,” Vaishnaw said, adding that work on fencing is progressing rapidly and this will eventually address the problem.
To a question of time and cost overruns on an ambitious bullet train project, the minister explained that the technology and initial design phase for such trains is very complex.
“…We have built close to 110 km of track already. The train will be fully operational by 2026,” he said, adding design changes in the Japanese model to suit the Indian environment are taking some time.