Indian Railways is developing its own super-fast train by increasing the speed of the locally made Vande Bharat Express in a phased way to match those running in European nations. The railways plans to increase the speed of the new version of the Vande Bharat
Express train to 180km per hour (kmph) this year from 160kmph. The train is expected to run at speeds of 220kmph byb2025 and subsequently faster at 260kmph, on par with the speed of most European high-speed trains. Vande Bharat would also increase its speed in phases and continue to improve the overall passenger experience, safety and security.
The first version of the Vande Bharat trains was launched in 2019 under the Make in India initiative and is designed to reach speeds up to 160kmph. However, this has been boosted to 180kmph in the second version, which will start operating this month, with 75 such trains deployed by 15 August next year as part of the country’s 75 years of independence celebrations.
Indian Railways has set a tar-get of manufacturing 300 Vande Bharat train sets over the next three years (2025). This will be increased to 500 trains by 2028. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given the Railways a target to make at least 75 such trains by August 2023, coinciding with 75 years of Indian Independence. The plan is also to connect 75 key Indian cities with these trains. Indian Railways’ Integral Coach Factory, Chennai, plans to manufacture around 10 Vande Bharat trains a month and, eventually, the Rail Coach Factory, Kapurthala, and the Modern Coach Factory, Rae-bareli, are also likely to start manufacturing these coaches to meet the target of 500 trains. Two sets of Vande Bharat trains are running on the Delhi-Katra and Delhi-Varanasi routes. Two more Vande Bharat semi-high-speed trains are expected to enter operations by August.