High speed / Semi-High speed rail projects of Indian Railways

India To Export Semi High Speed ‘Vande Bharat’ Trains By 2025-26​

By 2025-26, Indian Railways plans to become an exporter of the semi high speed ‘Vande Bharat’ trains.

With a view on markets in Europe, South America and East Asia and to make these ‘made in India’ trains export ready, railways aim to clock 10-12 lakh kilometres on 75 Vande Bharat trains over the next few years.

"The ecosystem to export trains has to be created over the next two to three years. We are on track to manufacture 475 Vande Bharat trains in the next three years and once they run successfully... there will be confidence in global markets about our product. The Vande Bharat trains meet all international standards," a senior official told PTI.

“In fact, the national transporter is constructing a 59 km testing track between Gudha-Thathana Mithri in Jodhpur Division (about 70 Km from Jaipur) for carrying out tests/trials of various rolling stocks. This track can test trains running at a maximum speed of 220 kmph, manoeuvring a variety of curves. The track will be ready by January 2024 and trains which will be exported will be tested here for prospective clients,” an official said.

While the current Vande Bharat trains are fit for broad gauge, Railways will customise the trains to run on standard gauges used by many countries across the world.

The manufacturing cost of a 16-coach Vande Bharat train is around Rs 130 crore.

The cost advantage of Vande Bharat trains could make it a strong contender for any country looking to strengthen inter-city travel infrastructure.

Also, in another significant development, 100 of the 400 Vande Bharat trains to be manufactured by 2025 will have tilting technology to enable trains to manoeuvre curves at higher speeds, just as a motorbike on a winding road.

300 more Vande Bharat trains?

The Union Budget for 2023-24 will likely announce 300 more Vande Bharat trains. If budgetary support comes through, the country will produce 800 train sets in the next five years.

The gross budgetary support (GBS) to Indian Railways for the next fiscal is also set to increase substantially from Rs 1.37 lakh crore in the last financial year in the rail sector.

Also, Indian Railway has finalised tenders for 502 Vande Bharat trains, of which 200 trainsets would have a sleeper facility.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked the Railways to produce at least 75 Vande Bharat trains by August 2023 to launch the services connecting 75 key cities as part of the central government's plans to celebrate 75 years of Independence.

Until now, only five such trains have been manufactured at ICF, thus posing a big challenge for the Railways to meet the target of 75 by Independence Day next year.

According to the original roll out plan, five trains were scheduled to be manufactured in November 2022 while seven trains were to be ready in December.

Currently 250 staff are being deployed round the clock for the furnishing job of the Vande Bharat coaches, according to the ICF.
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What Is A Tilting Train And Why India's Getting 100 Of Them​

India will get its first tilting train in the next two-three years, according to a senior official of Indian Railways. The technology enables trains to maneuver curves at increased speed, that too on regular tracks, just like a motorcycle on a winding road. Vande Bharat trains, manufactured in India, will be equipped with the technology by 2025 that will improve their speed. Such trains are now operational in 11 countries - Italy, Portugal, Slovenia, Finland, Russia, the Czech Republic, the UK, Switzerland, China, Germany and Romania.

"We will have tilting trains in the country. We will tie up with a technology partner for this. We will have this technology in 100 Vande Bharat trains over the next two to three years," news agency PTI quoted the Railways official as saying on Friday.

The Indian Railways has explored various options in the past regarding tilting trains, but has never finalised any detail. It also had discussions with Spanish manufacturer Talgo as well as the Switzerland government, PTI added.

How does a tilting train work?

When a train rounds a curve at speed, objects (and people) inside experience centrifugal force, which pushes them outwards.

The effect can cause luggage inside to slide, seated passengers to feel squashed and standing passengers to lose balance. These trains are designed to counteract the effect by tilting the carriages towards the inside of the curve, thus compensating the g-force.

According to Sweden-based KTH Engineering Sciences, there can be various mechanisms to neutralise the tilt force and achieve a balance. It further explains how motion sickness can be essentially eliminated by adjusting the timing of when the cars tilt.
The Ministry of Railways is going about these procurements in a very haphazard manner . China used to insist on a local partner for such foreign OEMs selected initially to execute such projects , who then absorbed the technology & started manufacturing cum R&D on their own . That's how they built up their Bullet Train project & in fact their entire manufacturing / industrial sector in China .

Sudhanshu Mani creator & former director of the Train 18 project rightly criticized this approach by the Ministry of Railways to exclude Train 18 or it's derivative from participation in the RRTS project whose tender cited prior succesful commissioning of the system whereas Alsthom & other foreign OEMs bidding for this & similar future projects merely rebrand their existing design portfolio to show the project was conceived by Alsthom India to benefit from MII schemes while simultaneously showing their credentials in order to qualify by citing similar projects executed in different parts of the world .

OTOH , foreign OEMs like Alsthom , Siemens , etc are now participants in the mega tender to manufacture ~ 450 Train 18 trainsets & it's derivatives in a complex partnership program worked out by MoR where Pvt companies bring in their teams to utilize PSUs under MoR along with their existing workers management & existing technology to manufacture these trainsets .

Ditto for our Metro trainset procurement procedures . Apart from Tithagarh & BEML IIRC all other manufacturers practically all foreign OEMs mostly of Chinese origin are importing their equipments into India. Considering the number of projects implemented / under implementation apart from the numerous ones which will come online in the next 2-3 decades , one wonders what exactly is the Ministry of Railways doing about this situation for there seems no plans even till date to encourage local partnerships & mfg in this segment .

Latest unconfirmed reports indicate Train 18 like derivatives to be trialled on Metro lines & on succesful certification they'd begin participation in future Metro bids though which PSU'd be manufacturing it assuming it's a PSU & where would it be manufactured isn't clear as of now or whether the usual Public Pvt partnership model is being considered like in the Train 18 project .
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Vande Bharat trains with sleeper berths to roll out by December​

New Delhi: The first Vande Bharat with sleeping berths facility and the prototype of the first Vande Metro will be ready by year's end, according to railway minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, TOI reported.

While the existing Vande Bharat trains can handle journeys of 500–600 km, according to Vaishnaw, the Vande Metro shuttle can go 100 kilometres between two cities.

The country's first Bullet train is scheduled to make its debut in July or August of 2026, according to the national transporter’s expectations. The Ahmedabad-Mumbai bullet train project is progressing quickly, according to the railway minister, and the rolling stock (trains) tender would be released this year.

Vaishnaw stated on a private TV channel that all 13 stations in Maharashtra are virtually ready for the train, which would go at 320 km per hour, and that pillars have been installed along a 140 km section of the project. Eight rivers have also been bridged for the train.

The Vande Bharat Express sleeper version train, which has gained popularity among rail travellers, will be built for a speed of 220 km per hour, and these sleeper version trains made of aluminium will go at a speed of 200 km per hour on the tracks.

Shatabdi Express will gradually replace the sitting Vande Bharat Express trains, while the sleeper variant will serve as a substitute for Rajdhani Express trains.

The Railways has called for bids for the construction of 400 Vande Bharat trains, and the project will be approved in January.
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