(Image © Urban Transport News)
New Delhi, India (Urban Transport News): Indian Railways is planning to launch small version of Vande Bharat Express on low population routes of IR Network. At present, Indian Railways is operating a total of eight Vande Bharat Express trains on different routes with 16-coaches.
Integral Coach Factory (ICF) has been given order to manufacture an eight-car Vande Bharat Train as a pilot project as railways is planning to introduce a shorter version of semi-high speed trains between smaller cities where patronage may not be too high to run a full fledged train.
The eight-car trains will be designed in such a way that it can be upgraded to 12-car, 16-car and 24-car trains in the future. In addition to catering to routes connecting tier 2 cities like Coimbatore and Madurai, a shorter version of the trains will also mean that delivery of the rakes can be speeded up.
The ministry of railways has already informed RDSO and the ICF about the intention to manufacture the shorter version of the train. “The design will be finalised and one rake will be manufactured as a pilot project before standardising it,” said a Railway official.
As the number of coaches are fewer, there may be an attempt to accommodate as many seats as possible in a coach without compromising too much of passenger comfort.
According to officials, the demand for the train is high from across all zones. The 16-car trains were launched because it was assessed that there will be patronage potential for the trains on routes connecting majorcities.
"We need even shorter 4 - coach VB type tranes for intra City local travel. Say a Coimbatore ring railway with spokes connecting all suburbs. This will greatly reduce road car and bike useage if priced correctly," said a regular passenger.
The Railway is planning to launch two more Vande Bharat Express trains before the end of this financial year.