India  

Eight-Coach Vande Bharat Trains will be introduced in March, know speciality

With the dual goal of increasing Vande Bharat trains nationwide and connecting secondary cities like Jalandhar and Ludhiana or Coimbatore and Madurai, Railways has decided to launch a shorter version, the eight coach Vande Bharat rake.

An identical prototype is being built at the Integral Coach Factory (ICF). As the design of the mini Vande Bharat Express, including the seating arrangement, is nearing final stages, the first 8-seater Vande Bharat will be launched at the end of March this year.

The cost of a 16-seater Vande Bharat train is estimated at Rs 134 crore while an 8-seater train is expected to cost around Rs 70 crore.

With the small version of Vande Bharat rake concept, wheel crunch is also somewhat manageable.

Since the launch of Vande Bharat Express in 2019, the demand for trains is increasing in all states and regions.

As the number of passengers increases, the number of coaches can be increased from 8-12 coaches. Up to 16 more can be added to meet growing passenger demand.

Coach Vande Bharat, aged 20-24, will only operate sleeper trains, not chair cars.

In a letter to ICF GM, the railway board “decided to manufacture the Vande Bharat rake in an 8-car configuration as a proof-of-concept that could be further upgraded to a 12/16/20/24-car configuration.”

“The exact configuration of the rake will be determined by traffic demand and POC results. The ICF and RDSO recommend that the necessary steps be taken to build the first eight automotive rake in the near future,” the letter said.

Currently, the semi-high-speed train consists of a total of 16 passenger cars and 8 trains are in operation.

Explaining the basic concept of the train, a senior railway official stated that the Vande Bharat is not a loco-hauled train as it runs on a distributed power system. The basic unit here consists of only 4 coaches.

So one can go in two units, an 8-passenger train, and similarly, it can be increased in three units, four units, or five units, depending on the traffic demand from software changes.

Passenger facilities remain the same as for 16-passenger trains and speeds remain dynamic in all these categories.