Integral Coach Factory (ICF) will soon 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. In-service Vande Bharat trains have 16 coaches.
Sources said that the eight-car trains will be designed in such a way that it can be upgraded to 16-car trains 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 anofficial. 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.
“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,” said an official.