INDIA: The new Union Budget of 2023-24 brought the highest-ever fund allocation of Rs 2.41 lakh crore for Indian Railways. The Ministry of Railways has announced plans to launch the Vande Metro train service and speed up its production of Vande Bharat trains.
Railway Budget 2023–2024
The Railway minister Ashwini Vaishnaw highlighted the root cause which affected the ability of train service in India. He said over the years, the lack of investment in the railways has stirred tentatively.
As per a railway official, “These will be a mini version of the Vande Bharat with eight coaches but will act like a Metro train. The rapid transit system needs heavy investment, but these mini Vande Metros can run on existing tracks.”
In the current development, the ministry has allocated the work on Vande Metro to Chennai-based Integral Coach Factory (ICF) alongside a Lucknow-based Research Design and Standard Organisation (RDSO).
The Railway minister said that under the ‘Amrit Bharat Station’ scheme, 1,275 stations are being redeveloped. Further, he added on saying, “In addition to ICF Chennai, Vande Bharat trains will now be produced in Sonipat, Haryana, and Latur, Maharashtra, realising PM Modi’s vision of Vande Bharat trains connecting every corner of the country.”
Additionally, the hydrogen-powered passenger trains will be launched by December this year. The train will initially operate on historical routes like Kalka-Shimla before being extended to other locations.
Talking about the success of the newly launched Vande Bharat, he said, “Now, the Vande Bharat train is very well tested. If you look at the number of kilometers it has run, the eight trains have covered a distance equivalent to 52 times, covering the perimeter of the earth without any major hassle. Now we are very confident about the product.”
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