The Union government has disclosed that the number of Vande Bharat trains has surged to 82, with efforts underway to boost the speed of trains to 160 kilometres per hour on the New Delhi-Mumbai and New Delhi-Howrah routes.
Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw provided this information in a written response to queries from 10 Members of Parliament in the Lok Sabha regarding Vande Bharat train services, as per a report by The Economic Times.
As of 31 January 2024, 82 Vande Bharat train services are operational nationwide, linking states with broad gauge (BG) electrified networks, Vaishnaw said.
He further explained, "besides, provision of stoppage of train services and introduction of new train services, including Vande Bharat, are ongoing processes on Indian Railways subject to operational feasibility, traffic justification, resource availability, etc."
Regarding revenue generation, the minister clarified that data on train-wise and state-wise revenue is not specifically maintained.
Adressing the concerns raised by MPs about increasing the speed of Vande Bharat trains, Vaishnaw highlighted that the sectional speed on various routes, including the Golden Quadrilateral and diagonal routes, has been elevated to 130 kmph.
Additionally, efforts are underway to raise the sectional speed to 160 kmph on existing routes such as New Delhi-Mumbai and New Delhi-Howrah.
On inquiries about train occupancy, Vaishnaw noted that during the fiscal year 2022-23, the overall occupancy rate of Vande Bharat trains stood at 96.62 per cent.
In response to MPs who queried about the other changes proposed for the convenience of passengers, Vaishnaw stated, "The improved version of Vande Bharat trains presently running over the Indian Railway network with enhanced safety features, faster acceleration, better ride index and passenger amenities, such as automatic plug doors, reclining ergonomic seats, comfortable seating with revolving seats in executive class, mobile charging sockets for every seat etc, and is fitted with KAVACH system."
Bhuvan Krishna is Staff Writer at Swarajya.
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