Vande Metro trains to be rolled out by May or June 2023, says Railway Minister
The Railways is manufacturing Vande Metro train which will replace those designed in 1950s and 60s, Railways and Communication Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said on Sunday. He also said that the first indigenously designed and built hydrogen train would roll out in December 2023.
"We are designing and the design should be out by anywhere by May or June -- We are designing a worldclass Vande Metro which will be a great leap forward," Vaishnaw told reporters during an interaction.
"These Vande Metro train will be manufactured in such large numbers that across the country, the trains which were of 1950s and 1960s designs will all be replaced," he added.
Stressing that these Vande Metro will take care of middle-class and the poor, the Union Minister said the focus is not on the high-end customer.
"Rich people can always take care of themselves. The Central government, especially Prime Minister Narendra Modi focuses on middle and lower classes people who are not able to afford," he underlined.
The Prime Minister wants railways to make very big transformative change in every Indian's life, Vaishnaw said.
To a question on the hydrogen-based trains, the Minister said like Vande Bharat, the Indian engineers are designing it.
"The design process is already going on and we should be able to roll out the first hydrogen train in the country by December 2023," he added.
Vaishnaw ruled out privatisation of railways saying, "Railways is a strategic sector and it will remain with the government.
The Union Minister said the Railways is working on Vande Bharat-3 design, which will also have sleeper class.
These trains would also be used for long journey.
Presently, the Railways is taking up 12 km of railway track construction a day, which used to be a mere four km a day during the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government from 2004 to 2014.
Next year, the Railways would achieve laying 16 km to 17 km tracks a day, though the Prime Minister has set a target of 20 kilometres of laying railway lines a day, the Minister said.
Vaishnaw accused the Congress and the JD(S) which did not do much for Karnataka.
According to him, during the UPA rule, the State was getting an allocation of Rs 835 crore whereas presently it is getting Rs 6,091 crore.
Speaking about getting new technologies, the Union Minister said the Railways have started a new startup initiative.
"About 800 startups applied and of them 50-odd were shortlisted.
Now we will be supporting these startups from idea to product stage.
Once the product is successful, we will give them funds for four years and keep them in order for four years so that they can really stabilise and use those products within the railways first, and then globally they should be able to take those products," he added.
Regarding the bullet train corridor construction between Mumbai and Ahmedabad, he said it is going on at a full speed.
The technology of bullet train operations is so complex given the vibration it will generate but the Indian engineers have mastered the technology, Vaishnaw claimed.
The Railways will take up 11 or 12 more corridors in the country after the successful completion of the Mumbai-Ahmedabad corridor.
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