A majority of about 2,000 mail/express trains are going to be revamped at par with Vande Bharat trains announced Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced in the Budget 2024-25.
As per the latest decision, 40,000 existing bogies being used in the mail/express trains would be upgraded to Vande Bharat standards with improved acceleration, deceleration, braking system and other related components as in the premier train service.
Besides improving bogies, the interiors, toilets, couplers, CCTV and berths are also slated to be upgraded to match Vande Bharat facilities.
There are over 40 Vande Bharat trains with seating facility operational across the country, while Vande Bharat sleeper facilities are slated to begin in April.
There would be total 75 Vande Bharat trains with seating facility and about 500 Vande Bharat with sleeper facilties in the next four years. The first prototype of Sleeper Vande Bharat is expected to be ready at ICF Chennai shortly.
According to the industry, the upgrade of 40,000 regular bogies to Vande Bharat standards marks a significant milestone in India's railway journey.
This initiative reflects a dedicated effort to elevate passenger safety, comforts and operational efficiency to higher standards.
Looking forward to the opportunities that will emerge from the Budget, rolling stock major Alstom MD Olivier Loison said, "The Union Budget promises to drive development and innovation, taking India’s infrastructure to the next level and by bringing together its transportation ecosystem for rail, road, aerospace and more to benefit individuals and businesses alike. The continued focus on infrastructure with an increased outlay of Rs 11.11 lakh crore in FY25 will play a key role in boosting India’s economic growth."
Loison further added, "As the frontrunners in sustainable mobility and drivers of India’s rail revolution, the announcement of metro and NaMo Bharat expansion, three major railway corridor programmes and transformation in existing rail ecosystem will create opportunities for us to introduce world class rolling stock, rail equipment and infrastructure, signalling and services in India. It will not only strengthen the overall efficiency of transportation network but also improve the reliability and safety of passenger trains."
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