Indian Railways plans to operate 75 new Vande Bharat trains by August 15 next year but the task appears to be quite challenging. The 6th Vande Bharat Express train was scheduled to debut last week in southern India but that did not happen.
The ICF has been releasing one Vande Bharat rake every month since September. However, preparations were afoot to roll out two Vande Bharat rakes in November. According to sources, the last batch of bogies would reach ICF on November 29.
It will, therefore, not be possible to roll out another train this month. “We hope to make the 6th Vande Bharat train ready in the first week of December,” said a senior ICF official.
In order to meet the target of operating 75 trains, the manufacturing of Vande Bharat trains has to be expedited further to roll out seven to eight trains every month.
According to the original rollout plan, five trains were scheduled to be manufactured in November 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.
However, all 32 bogies required for the fifth Vande Bharat are yet to reach ICF Chennai. While some bogies have reached, the rest are expected to arrive from Hyderabad on 29 November.
The 16-coach train requires 32 bogies to be a complete train set. A bogie consisting of a wheel disc, axle, braking system and traction motor among others is crucial for manufacturing a coach.
Besides, the wheels come from Ukraine, axles from China, the brake systems from Germany and the window screens from Europe. Seats were also earlier procured from Europe, now domestic players including Tata are involved in making the seats for Vande Bharat trains.