|Indian Railways big plan for faster travel! Buoyed by the success of Vande Bharat Express, Piyush Goyal-led Indian Railways is now hoping to reduce travel time drastically on shorter routes. To begin with, semi-high speed Vande Bharat Express-style trains may start plying between Mumbai to Nashik, Pune, and Vadodara. Manufactured under ‘Make in India’ initiative, the Train 18 or Vande Bharat Express became India’s fastest train during trials, clocking speeds of 180 kmph. The engine-less self-propelled train set marks a big technological leap for Indian Railways in terms of faster and more energy-efficient train travel.|
Vande Bharat Express has reduced the travel time between the national capital and Varanasi by 40 per cent. Rajesh Agrawal, member (Rolling Stock), Railway Board was quoted in a PTI report saying that to check whether the Vande Bharat Express-style trains can be used for Mumbai to Nashik or Mumbai to Pune or Mumbai to Vadodara route, trial runs will be conducted in the next week.
According to him, from the next week, the Railway Board is going to start trial runs on the Vande-Bharat pattern. One AC-EMU rake, as well as one non-AC MEMU rake, will be given to the Central Railway and Western Railway zones. He said if the trial goes as per the plan, Indian Railways can reduce the travel time between Mumbai to Pune and Mumbai to Nashik to within two hours. He further said that no final decision has been taken yet, but as of now, Indian Railways is only going to explore the possibility. Some of the bigger challenges for the national transporter include traffic congestion and infrastructure upgradation including the tracks.
The trial runs are in line with Indian railways to replace old trains for short distances on the Golden Quadrilateral with Vande Bharat Express-type self-propelled MEMUs.
Meanwhile, Agrawal also stated that by the end of March 2020, the national transporter has planned to run as many as 12 AC local trains in Mumbai, with six each on the Central Railway and Western Railway suburban lines. He claimed that Indian Railways has no shortage of coaches as the production of coaches has seen a quantum jump. Till last year, all coach factories used to manufacture less than 4,000 coaches annually, however, this year the number of coaches has increased up to 6,000. In the next financial year, Indian Railways aims to produce 8,000 coaches, he added.