CHENNAI: Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw on Friday said 475 Vande Bharat rakes would be manufactured in four years and 75 of them would be introduced across the country by August 2023. He was speaking to reporters after inspecting the commissioning of a prototype of upgraded Vande Bharat (VB) rake (in pic) at the Integral Coach Factory (ICF) in the city.
The prototype, the third VB rake manufactured by the ICF, was despatched for testing and trials the same day. A fourth rake was in the final stage of commissioning, according to ICF officials. The first two VB rakes built by the ICF are in operation on New Delhi-Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Katra and New Delhi-Varanasi routes. Currently, the ICF has the capacity to build 5-6 VB rakes a month and efforts are on to scale this to 10, added officials.
Vaishnaw said VB trains would be run for 15,000 kms during test. “All sorts of tests, including oscillation trials, will be conducted. It will also be tested for 180 km/h speed on good and bad tracks. The tests would be completed in two months.” The bogies had air springs that would improve travel comfort, sliding doors, and dedicated toilets for differently-abled individuals, he added.
The minister appreciated the ICF team for commissioning the rake in record time and announced a `10 lakh cash reward for ICF staff. Sources from the ICF said the prototype had been fitted with a train collision avoidance device (TCAD), which would prevent signal passing at danger (SPAD) cases and other situations during minor accidents on tracks.
Other safety features aboard each coach include fire-detection alarms, four emergency windows, and flood-proofing of under-slung electrical equipment up to a height of 650mm (as against 400mm on old VBs). Passengers would be provided with a wider screen for passenger information system, better heat ventilation and air-conditioning control among others,” said a press release.
Train collision avoidance device (TCAD)
Fire-detection alarms in place of smoke-detection system
Flood-proofing for under-slung electrical equipment up to a height of 650mm
Four emergency windows a coach
Wider screen for passenger information system (32 inches)
Separate ventilation duct for better maintenance of temperature
Better riding comfort
Seats handles and seat numbers in Braille letters
Driver-guard communication with voice recording facility
Four platform side cameras, including rear view cameras, outside the coach instead of two