The third Vande Bharat (Train 18), which is also expected to be introduced on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad route, is ready for testing.
The newly designed rake left the Integral Coach Factory’s (ICF, Chennai) furnishing division on Friday for a 15,000-kilometer static-dynamic-oscillation test before entering the Indian Railway network. However, the exact date of its arrival has yet to be determined.
The third rake is reportedly not only energy-efficient but also has better passenger amenities and safety features compared to Vande Bharat trains running on the New Delhi-Varanasi and New Delhi-Katra routes.
On Friday, Minister of Railways, Communications and Electronics and Information Technology, Ashwini Vaishnaw, visited the ICF and inspected the rake. The minister also spent some time inspecting the interiors, including the driver’s cab.
Sudhansu Mani, former general manager of the ICF, who created the first Vande Bharat, said he hopes that the seating in the economy coaches and the interiors have been improved.
“I also hope this rake, and the ones to follow, will be deployed on routes where its inherent USP of faster acceleration can be exploited to reduce travel time.
Between Mumbai and Ahmedabad, it must be time-tabled for a journey less than five hours. Else, I would consider this increase in acceleration meaningless.”
Mani said that the ICF also needs to start work on the sleeper version of Train 18, which was started in 2018 but abandoned.
As per ICF officials, the new rake has a better acceleration/ deceleration capacity, and will be able to reach 160 kmph is just 140 seconds as compared to 145 seconds of the earlier rakes.
Instead of the previous two, the new rake features four platform side cameras, including rear view cameras.
They said that because the compressor is more efficient and uses UV lamps to ensure that the air is germ-free, it has superior heat ventilation and air-conditioning control.