Vande Bharat Train Replica To Replace Fairy Queen In Rail Bhawan

by Arun Kumar Das - Nov 6, 2021 10:34 AM +05:30 IST
Vande Bharat Train Replica To Replace Fairy Queen In Rail BhawanFairy Queen
Snapshot
  • Fairy Queen was certified by the Guinness Book of Records in 1998 as the world's oldest steam locomotive in regular operation.

Opting for changes in its approach and outlook, Indian Railways is replacing the replica of Fairy Queen heritage steam locomotive placed in front of Rail Bhawan for years with a mini replica of the semi-high speed Vande Bharat train, an indication of the national transporter's focus on the train set and new-age train.

Fairy Queen was certified by the Guinness Book of Records in 1998 as the world's oldest steam locomotive in regular operation.

While the Railways is racing against time to quickly build 75 indigenously designed, semi-high speed Vande Bharat trains by August 2023, a deadline publicly set by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Integral Coach Factory in Chennai is finalising the replica of Vande Bharat train.

Train Set and semi-high speed are two priority areas for the Railways now as the public transporter has undertaken a series of efforts to speed up trains and reduce loco-hauled trains.

According to the ICF, besides the replica of Vande Bharat, the Chennai-based production unit is also expected to roll out the first prototype of Vande Bharat train with 16 coaches in March to be followed by the second one in April next year.

Gearing up to meet the target, the Railways has called an urgent meeting of Integral Coach Factory and Medha to sort out certain issues to ensure the roll out of the first prototype of Vande Bharat train in March.

After the prototype becomes ready, there will be a three-stage trial of the train before launching the commercial trial.

First, there will be a dynamic trial to be followed by oscillation trial and then static trial. Sources at ICF said the commercial run is expected to start in June for three months after which it will be dedicated to the nation in August.

While Medha has won the contract to manufacture 44 Vande Bharat trains, the Railways has floated another tender for manufacture of 58 more such semi-high speed Vande Bharat trains.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said from the ramparts of the Red Fort, “During these 75 weeks of the Amrit Mahotsav of Independence (March 12, 2021, to August 15, 2023), 75 Vande Bharat trains will connect every corner of the country.”

Though the Railways initially planned all 44 trains to be manufactured in ICF, it later decided to distribute their production among three factories — 24 in ICF and 10 each in Modern Coach Factory (MCF), Raebareli, and Rail Coach Factory (RCF), Kapurthala, to fast-track delivery.

The Railways in September last floated a revised tender for procuring 44 semi-high speed Vande Bharat trains, mandating 75 per cent domestic components, making it a domestic tender.

There are two Vande Bharat trains already in operation in the country.

Vande Bharat trains are equipped with upgraded amenities as well as better seating, security, and surveillance systems along with fire-proof features.

Arun Kumar Das is a senior journalist covering railways. He can be contacted at akdas2005@gmail.com.


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