In news– In her Budget speech, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced that 400 Vande Bharat trains will be manufactured in the next three years with investment of Rs 50,000 crore.
About Vande Bharat trains-
- It is India’s first indigenously built semi-high speed train set, each of 16 coaches, introduced in 2019.
- Recent announcement comes in addition to the current plan to be able to run 75 Vande Bharats across India by Independence Day in 2023.
- Two Vande Bharat train sets (originally called Train 18) are currently running, both from Delhi — to Varanasi and Katra.
- The current Vande Bharats are being made at Rs 106 crore per trainset of 16 cars, at 2018 pricing.
- They are self-propelled train sets, as opposed to current locomotive-hauled trains and do not require an engine.
- This is called a distributed traction power system, which is increasingly becoming the norm the world over for passenger operations.
- Distributed power gives the train higher acceleration and deceleration compared to loco-hauled trains, which take a much longer time to reach top speed or to gradually come to a halt.
- With shorter journey time, a train set is theoretically able to cover more trips, thereby carrying more people.
- The current Vande Bharat trains have seating only in two classes — chair car and executive chair car and Railways is already in the process of making 102 new Vande Bharats, which will be an upgrade from the current two Vande Bharat train sets.
- Forty-four new Vande Bharat train sets, the propulsion of which is being designed by Hyderabad-based Medha Servo Drive, will start rolling out from May, 2022.
- These trains will have improvements 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.