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What is the News?
In Budget 2022, the Finance Minister has announced that 400 Vande Bharat trains will be manufactured in the next three years.
What are Vande Bharat Trains?
Vande Bharat is a semi-high speed train. Currently, two Vande Bharat trains are currently in operation, Delhi-Varanasi and Delhi-Katra.
They are self-propelled trains that do not require an engine. This feature is called a distributed traction power system, which is increasingly becoming the norm the world over for passenger operations.
Note: Distributed power gives the train higher acceleration and deceleration compared to loco-hauled trains, which take a much longer time to reach top speed or to gradually come to a halt.
|Read more: High-Speed Rail Project and its challenges in India – Explained, pointwise|
What are the key features of Vande Bharat Trains?
The current Vande Bharat trains have seating only in two classes — chair car and executive chair car. But Railways is planning to upgrade it.
The trains have fully sealed gangways for a dust-free environment, modular bio-vacuum toilets, rotating seats in Executive Class, personalized reading lights, automatic entry/exit doors with sliding footsteps, diffused LED lighting, mini pantry and sensor-based interconnecting doors in each coach.
What will be the new features in 400 Vande Bharat Trains?
These trains will have improvements in terms of better seating, an anti-bacterial system in AC, less noise, the ability to hit 160 km/h in 140 seconds, less costly among others.
Railways is also looking at making several of these trainsets with aluminium instead of steel. An aluminium body will make each train set around 40-80 tonnes lighter than a current Vande Bharat. This will mean lower consumption of energy as well as better speed potential.
What are the benefits of Vande Bharat Trains?
1) Cuts Travel Time Drastically 2) Energy Efficient 3) Reduce Turnaround Time 4) Faster Acceleration and Deceleration among others.
|Read more: Railway Minister announces introduction of ‘Bharat Gaurav Trains’|
Source: This post is based on the article “Explained: Fast-tracking Vande Bharat” published in Indian Express on 5th Feb 2022.