The third Vande Bharat Express train, currently under trial run in Delhi-Chandigarh sector, is slated to run on Mumbai-Ahmedabad corridor.
While no formal decision has been taken so far, according to people familiar with the development, maintained that the Mumbai-Ahmedabad route, having the potential of attracting patronage, is most likely to get the nod for running the next semi-high speed train.
The route would be a commercially viable option for the Railways to press the high-end service on the route.
A passenger is expected to pay more than 40 per cent fare than the normal rate in the route because of its modern amenities and higher speed of 160 kmph reducing the travel time between the two big cities.
Incidentally, the route is also witnessing construction of a high-speed rail network for India's first bullet train project, though the high-speed rail project is behind the schedule for more than five years and is expected to be operational in 2028.
The third rake of the train reached Chandigarh on Thursday (18 August) for oscillation trial. The train would undergo various trials for a month or 45 days; after that, it would seek mandatory clearance from the Commissioner of Railway Safety (CRS).
The fourth rake is expected to be rolled out in September from Integral Coach Factory (ICF).
According to the Railways, there would be a total 502 Vande Bharat trains manufactured at various facilities including Rae Bareli, Sonipath and Kapurthala besides ICF Chennai.
While 302 Vande Bharat trains would have seating facilities, 200 Vande Bharat trains would be equipped with Sleeper facilities.
The Vande Bharat train with seating arrangement is expected to run on Shatabdi and intercity routes and those with Sleepers would be pressed on Rajdhani, Duronto and other overnight journeys.
The trial speed of the train will be 100 to 180 kmph on the specified route. The new Vande Bharat train, comes with enhanced safety and convenience features for passengers.
There are safety enhancements in the upgraded Vande Bharat trains with the implementation of the Train Collision Avoidance System (TCAS) or Kavach to prevent signal passing at danger (SPAD) cases and unsafe situations arising due to overspeeding and train collisions in station areas.
According to railway authorities, the RDSO (Research Design and Standards Organisation) will perform several testing on the train, and then only CRS will provide safety clearance.
Last week, Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnav inspected the third Vande Bharat train and handed it over to the RDSO for testing. Since then, the trial process has begun.
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