Vande Bharat trains will soon ply from each state, railways minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said Friday, outlining the Centre’s plan to connect 200 cities with these modern, indigenously-developed trains by mid-2024.
The Indian Railways is also looking at Vande Metro, he said.
“The Vande Metro design trainset has been finalised,” Vaishnaw told reporters after a two-day ‘Chintan Shivir’ or brainstorming session organised by his ministry.
These eight coach self-propelled trainsets are expected to ply on short distance sub-urban routes. The Mumbai local is one of the use cases for Vande Metro concept.
An official statement said the objective of the Chintan Shivir was to brainstorm on finding new ways and methods and adopt innovative ideas to achieve commissioning of more track per year, higher loading per day, and attaining zero consequential accidents. Chintan Shivir’s focus was also to review the work of the railways ministry and evolve an action plan to implement Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Vision 2047, the statement said.
Vaishnaw emphasised rail safety and adoption of newer technologies. He also urged officers to ponder over increasing train speed to 160 kmph for half of the Indian Railways network.
Vaishnaw also asked officers to devise a method to cater to 11 billion passengers annually and how to decongest the railways network.
A senior government official who was part of the deliberations, said the Indian Railways role as a driver of the Indian economy was also discussed and measures to attract more freight were charted out.
“Deployment and improvements of tracks has increased. The focus is now to commission 10,000 km of tracks per year,” he added.