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Indian Railways to produce 'Vande Bharat Bullet Train' at 250 kmph this year; check details

For the first time, India will manufacture trains capable of reaching a maximum speed of 250 kilometers per hour (kmph). These bullet trains are intended to operate on the Rs 1.08 lakh crore Mumbai-Ahmedabad High-Speed Rail corridor, likely utilizing the Vande Bharat platform.

Indian Railways to produce 'Vande Bharat Bullet Train' at 250 kmph this year; check details AJR
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First Published Jun 7, 2024, 2:51 PM IST

In a recent development, Indian Railways has tasked the Integral Coach Factory (ICF) in Chennai with producing two domestically manufactured standard-gauge bullet trains within the current fiscal year. This decision follows unsuccessful negotiations with Japanese suppliers over pricing issues, according to officials.

For the first time, India will manufacture trains capable of reaching a maximum speed of 250 kilometers per hour (kmph). These bullet trains are intended to operate on the Rs 1.08 lakh crore Mumbai-Ahmedabad High-Speed Rail corridor, likely utilizing the Vande Bharat platform.

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While using an existing platform will help ICF expedite the delivery process, experts believe that supplying the train sets within this fiscal year will be a formidable challenge. A senior official said, "ICF, Chennai has been tasked to build and deliver two standard-gauge train sets of eight cars each, featuring a steel car body, a running speed of 220 kmph, and a maximum speed of 250 kmph." The order was placed earlier this week.

Negotiations with the Japanese consortium of Hitachi and Kawasaki, which have been ongoing for a while, have made little progress. The estimated cost for a 10-coach bullet train was Rs 389 crore in 2018, rising to Rs 460 crore per train set in 2023. Despite the Japanese consortium's willingness to supply 'Shinkansen' train sets, Indian Railways remains unconvinced about the pricing.

The bullet train project has faced massive delays from its original 2022 completion deadline, primarily due to land acquisition issues in Maharashtra. Experts believe that meeting the new timeline for developing trains capable of running at 250 kmph will be a challenging task for ICF.

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Sudhanshu Mani, a retired Indian Railways official known for developing the first variant of the Vande Bharat trains, remarked that the current top speed of Vande Bharat trains is 180 kmph. He added, "This bullet train development and supply target can be achieved by ICF over three to four years.”

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