Chennai, May 20 – Indian Railways will connect the country’s different regions with Vande Bharat Express trains, said Union Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw here on Friday.
He also ruled out privatisation of the Indian Railways.
Congratulating the Integral Coach Factory (ICF) team for designing and rolling out the modern train Vande Bharat Express Vaishnaw said it is a proud project for Indian Railways.
“All regions of India will be connected through Vande Bharat Express trains as envisaged by the Honourable Prime Minister which is a dream coming true for all of us,” Vaishnaw said.
He visited ICF and inspected the Vande Bharat express coaches under production.
First two prototype rakes are planned to be turned out by August this year.
Indian Railways is committed to roll out 75 Vande Bharat rakes by August 2023.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presenting the Union Budget for 2022-23 had said 400 new energy efficient Vande Bharat trains will be introduced in three years.
According to Vaishnaw, the focus is totally on adaptation of new technologies for the betterment of Indian Railways, such as Kavach Anti-collision safety devices, that will be fitted on Vande Bharat Express coaches as well.
He said all the railway stations are being re-developed and 50 stations have already been undergoing the process.
In Tamil Nadu, five stations including Chennai Egmore, Madurai, Kanniyakumari, Rameswaram and Katpadi have been shortlisted under the project, he remarked.
As regards funds allocation, he said Rs 3,685 crore have been allotted for railway projects in Tamil Nadu in the current budget.
Vaishnaw also recommended that the railway staff working in Tamil Nadu should learn Tamil for better interaction with rail users in addition to smooth and safe operation of trains.
“India is a country with many beautiful languages and we need to enjoy the beauty of each and every language,” he said.
Vaishnaw flagged off the 12,000th ALHB (Linke Hofmann Busch) AC-II Tier Coach at ICF in the presence of A.K. Agarwal, General Manager, ICF, B.G. Mallya, General Manager, Southern Railway and other senior officials.
This is a great milestone in the history of Indian Railways and a bench mark in modernisation of passenger train services.
The ICF is the first production unit of Indian Railways to achieve such a benchmark in the production of LHB coaches.