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Vande Bharat success catches world’s fancy! South-East Asian, South American nations eye Train 18 sets

Devanjana Nag

Indian Railways to export Train 18 trainsets! After the success of India’s first semi-high speed self-propelled train – Vande Bharat Express, the national transporter now plans to export the same to other nations. According to Member Rolling Stock Rajesh Agrawal, some South-East Asian and South American nations have evinced interest for import of Train 18 sets and coaches. This is going to be a big achievement for ICF, world’s largest coach manufacturer as by exporting Vande Bharat Express coaches to other countries, ‘Make in India’ programme is likely to get a massive boost in the coming years. However, Agrawal has said that Train 18-style coaches will be exported only after the domestic demand is met.

India’s first semi high-speed self-propelled train- Vande Bharat Express was flagged by in the month of February by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The train, which can attain a maximum speed of 180 kmph covers the distance between New Delhi and Varanasi in around 8 hours, with a maximum permissible speed of 130 kmph. Earlier this year, Rajesh Agrawal had indicated that the national transporter is looking to enter the $200 billion world market for world-class trains.

The train consists of 16 fully air-conditioned chair car coaches of which two are Executive class coaches. The train also boasts a number of modern features including automatic doors, comfortable seating, GPS based audio-visual passenger information system, on-board hotspot WiFi for entertainment purposes, bio-vacuum type toilets, pantry with the facility to serve hot meals, hot and cold beverages. Last month, Vande Bharat Express created a record of being punctual on almost all days of service.

Meanwhile, Agrawal also stated that various infrastructure improvement projects, worth Rs 2,500 crore are being planned for coach production units of Indian Railways. Out of this, Rs 500 crore has been planned to be spent for ICF. He also said that as many as 12 rakes for air-conditioned suburban trains are likely to be rolled out of the coach factory. He further added that another Rail Coach Factory at Lattur is now getting ready and the factory is likely to be commissioned this year.