Vande Bharat Express: The indigenous technology-powered semi high-speed Vande Bharat Express trains are currently operational in 21 states across the country. However, these trains are not yet running in Bihar, Jharkhand, and Goa.
The government has announced that starting from June, Vande Bharat Express will be introduced in 28 states nationwide. The delay in expanding the operations of these semi-high-speed trains is due to the non-electrification of railway routes in seven northeastern states. Nevertheless, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to inaugurate the Vande Bharat train in Assam next week.
A senior official from the Railway Board stated that the first Vande Bharat train was launched between Delhi and Varanasi, followed by Delhi and Jammu. Currently, Vande Bharat Express is serving a total of 21 states, including Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, West Bengal, Jammu and Kashmir, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Delhi, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, and southern states.
The official further claimed that by the end of June, Vande Bharat trains will commence operations between Patna-Hatia and Patna-Ranchi (Jharkhand), as well as Goa-Mumbai (Maharashtra) in Bihar. This expansion will ensure that Vande Bharat trains are available in all 28 states. Electrification work is underway on railway routes in northeastern states, and once completed, the operations of Vande Bharat will commence. However, starting from May 29, Vande Bharat Express will be operational between Guwahati and New Jalpaiguri in Assam.
Railways Issues Tender for 400 Vande Bharat Trains
According to Railway Board officials, a total of 34 Vande Bharat trains (17 pairs) have been operationalized until now. The number will increase to 36 once the train bound for Assam starts running on May 29. The officials are confident that they will successfully achieve Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s target of operating 75 Vande Bharat trains across the country by August 15, 2025. The Railways has already issued a tender for the manufacturing of 400 Vande Bharat trains.
Currently, one Vande Bharat train is being produced every week at the Integral Coach Factory (ICF) in Chennai. However, the production will soon commence in a phased manner at the Modern Coach Factory (MCF) in Rae Bareli, the Rail Coach Factory in Latur, Maharashtra, and Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL). With the increased production capacity of 3-4 trains per week, the goal of 75 Vande Bharat trains can be easily achieved.