Vande Bharat Express
|Vande Bharat Express|
|In service||Long distance Intercity Express|
|Manufacturer||Integral Coach Factory (ICF)|
|Built at||Integral Coach Factory, Chennai|
|Entered service||15 February 2019|
|Number under construction||2|
|Number in service||1|
|Formation||(DT + M + T + M) for basic unit of 4 cars (DT=Driving Trailer, T=Trailer, M=Motor-coach)|
|Line(s) served||Vande Bharat Express|
|Car body construction||Steel|
|Train length||376.64 metres (1,235.7 ft)|
|Width||3.24 metres (10.6 ft)|
|Weight||39.5 Tonnes - Trailer coach|
|Power output||8000 kW (10700 hp) (= 32 motors, each of 250 kW)|
|Acceleration||0.7 metres per second squared (2.3 ft/s2)|
|Auxiliaries||415 V 3 phase 50 Hz|
|Power supply||25 kV 50 Hz AC 1-phase|
|UIC classification||(2'-2' + Bo-Bo + 2'-2' + Bo-Bo) for each basic unit|
|Braking system(s)||electropneumatic braking|
|Coupling system||CBC, semi-permanent type|
|Track gauge||1676 mm (5 ft 6 in) broad gauge |
Vande Bharat Express , also known as Train 18, is an Indian semi-high speed intercity electric multiple unit. It was designed and built by Integral Coach Factory (ICF) Chennai under the Indian government's Make in India initiative over a span of 18 months. The unit cost of the first rake was given as ₹100 crore (US$14 million), though the unit cost is expected to go down with subsequent production. At the original price, it is estimated to be 40% less costly than a similar train imported from Europe. The train was launched on 15 February 2019, by which date a second unit will have been produced and readied for service. The service was named 'Vande Bharat Express' on 27 January 2019.
Vande Bharat Express means 'Respect India Express'. Depending on the context, vand means "to worship, to praise, celebrate, laud, extol, to show honour, do homage, salute respectfully", or "deferentially, venerate, worship, adore", or "to offer anything respectfully to".
Design and development
Train 18's Vande Bharat Express exterior appearance consists of aerodynamic narrowing at each ends of the train. It has a driver coach at each end of the train, allowing for faster turnaround at each end of the line. The train has 16 passenger cars, with a seating capacity of 1,128 passengers. Two of the center compartments are first class compartments that seat 52 each, with the rest being coach compartments seating 78 each.
The train's seats, braking system, doors, and transformers are the only elements of the train to be outsourced, with plans to make them domestically on the production of the next unit. Train 18 employs a regenerative braking system.
Another unit is planned for production over the next year, along with four more units in the following year, for a total of six. The Railway Board has requested that ICF complete two of the new units by May 2019. Two of those units will incorporate sleeper cars into the layout. "As per the production programme issued by the Railway Board, this includes the second train coming out after the elections and third by October this year. After October, ICF will make one train every alternate month till March 2020 and one rake every month from April 2020."According to the Ministry of Railways earlier this year, Modern Coach Factory (MCF), Raebareli which has been a shining example of 'Make in India', will also manufacture more Vande Bharat Express train sets in the coming months.
Recently, ICF announced the next rake will be rolled out in the first week of May 2019 with the following 2 being ready by October and December of 2019.
ICF has announced that the new rake will come by the end of May 2019 and that it will run on the Delhi Mumbai Route. It will complete the journey 4 hrs faster than the Mumbai Rajdhani.
Recent videos has shown that the second rake is completed and is ready for testing.
The train's first trial run occurred on 29 October 2018 in Chennai, focusing on crew orientation and testing the train's brakes, with further testing scheduled to be done in Delhi on 7 November and later in Rajasthan. An Indian Railways official reported that "some fuses went off" during the trial in Chennai, but that the issue was minor and quickly fixed. The train ended up leaving for Delhi later than expected, on 11 November, and arrived on 13 November. Testing was set to commence along a section of track between Bareilly and Moradabad in Uttar Pradesh on 17 November, but the location was subsequently changed to the stretch of rail between Moradabad and Rampur due to unspecified issues with the initial section of track. The Moradabad–Rampur testing occurred at low speeds ranging from 30–60 km/h (19–37 mph). After the lower-speed testing, the train was moved to a section of track between Kota and Sawai Madhopur to be tested at operating speed. During its trials, Train 18 reached speeds of 180 km/h (110 mph), the highest speed any train in India has reached in the trials but they restricted the speed to 130 km/h officially.
Inaugural run and entry into service
The train flagged off for an inaugural run by Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi, on 15 February 2019, with its commercial run started from 17 February 2019 onwards. It will be running on the Delhi-Varanasi route, via Kanpur and Allahabad, connecting the Prime minister's Lok Sabha seat Varanasi to the Capital city, reducing travel time along the route by 15 percent. The train's regenerative brakes are also expected to allow a 30% savings in electricity costs as compared to its predecessor. At an operating speed of 160 kilometres per hour (99 mph), it will outpace the Shatabdi Express by 30 kilometres per hour (19 mph). Although the trainset has been tested for speeds up to 180 km/h, operational speed has been capped at 130 km/h as an internal report by Indian Railways indicated that just 0.3% of the company's track is capable of supporting speeds of that magnitude. Every other car on the train is motorised. The 8 hour journey from New Delhi to Varanasi station has the Chair Car CC Class fare of ₹1,755.00 and covers the total distance of about 775 kilometers. Indian railways has also planned to run Train 18 between New Delhi and Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Katra, and the journey would take 8 hours to complete.
The following is the current routes for this express train since its launch in February 2019:
|#||Routes||Stops||Train Number(s)||Distance||Average Time||Average Speed||Max. Permissible Speed||Launch Date||Ref(s)|
|1||New Delhi (NDLS) - Varanasi Junction (BSB)||Kanpur Central (CNB)||22435 (Up)
|758.8 Km||8 Hours||100 Km/h||130 Km/h||17 February 2019|||
|2||New Delhi (NDLS) - Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Katra (SMVDK)||Ambala Cantonment (UMB)||TBD||655 Km||8 Hours||100 Km/h||TBA|
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Media related to Train 18 at Wikimedia Commons