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As part of its revamp plan, Railways to source 8,000 Vande Bharat coaches

One 16-coach trainset generally costs around Rs 130 crore

Modi, Vande Bharat

One 16-coach trainset generally costs around Rs 130 crore | Photo: Twitter

BS Web Team New Delhi

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Indian Railways will induct a total of 8,000 Vande Bharat coaches over the next few years as it plans to revamp its trains to introduce more high-speed trainsets on its network, The Indian Express (IE) has reported.

Typically, a Vande Bharat Express trainset has 16 coaches. However, the railways also run Vande Bharat trains with eight coaches based on the requirements of the route.

Of the total 8,000 coaches, more than 5,000 or two-thirds will be sourced from the industry under the model of manufacturing and maintenance contracts, as per the coach production programme approved by the Railways Ministry this year, the report said.

One 16-coach trainset generally costs around Rs 130 crore, the report said, citing industry experts.

The Integral Coach Factory (ICF) in Chennai, where the first Vande Bharat trains were made, has been authorised to invite tenders for 3,200 Vande Bharat Coaches of the sleeper variant. As things stand, all Vande Bharat trains are seating-based variants.

ICF will manufacture 1,600 coaches, and two other production facilities, MCF-Raebareli and RCF-Kapurthala, will manufacture 800 coaches each. The government plans to roll out these trains every year by 2030-31, an official aware of the developments told IE.

Another govt official told the newspaper that by the end of this financial year, the total number of Vande Bharat trains plying on the Indian Railways' network might reach 75 from the currently operational 25 trains.

If things go according to the plans, about 700 of these Vande Bharat coaches will be manufactured this year itself, with another 1,000 in 2024-25, the report said.

The current variants of the Vande Bharat are serving on routes around 500 km, much like the Shatabdi Express trains. However, with the introduction of sleeper coaches, it will be able to cover longer distances, like the Rajdhanis.

The consortium of a Russian company, TMH and India's Rail Vikas Nigam Limited has won the bid to manufacture 120 Vande Bharat trains for the Indian Railways, which includes the sleeper variants of these trains.

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First Published: Jul 28 2023 | 10:58 AM IST

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