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All You Need to Know About Vande Bharat Express

Written by Sthitee Mohanty, senior writer.

Managed by the Indian Railways Vande Bharat is a electric multiple-unit train.

By I Kid You Not , in Explained Facts to Know , at April 18, 2023 Tags:

Written by Sthitee Mohanty, senior writer.

As the Indian Government plans to introduce this railway operation in the union territories of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh by 2024, here are a few key points to remember! 

Quick Facts about Vande Bharat

  • An ongoing Government of India railways initiative
  • First started on 15 February 2019
  • There are two types of Vande Bharat Express trains in planning: 16-coach trains and 8-coach mini trains
  • The first commercial route was established between New Delhi and Varanasi
  • The project prioritizes low cost production and running of trains

What is the Vande Bharat Express?

Vande Bharat

The Vande Bharat Express is a train. But, it’s no ordinary train. Here’s what’s special about it.

Managed by the Indian Railways it’s a electric multiple-unit train.

When did it begin service?

The train started service on 15 February 2019, after two vigorous rounds of testing. The first round was in Chennai in October 2018 and the second was held in Delhi in November 2018. 

Did you know that the Vande Bharat Express was formerly called Train 18? It was named so because the project was to be completed by 2018.

These trains can achieve a speed of 180 kilometers per hour, but due to safety concerns, the speed limit has been set at 110-160 km/h.

Who designed the Vande Bharat trains?

The entire operation had been designed by Research Design and Standards Organisation, India. This organization comes under the Ministry of Railways, Government of India.

The trains and their machinery have been manufactured by the Integral Coach Factory (ICF), Chennai. The ICF is a production unit established in 1955, owned and operated by the Indian Railways. 

Currently, Tata Steel and Russian manufacturer JSC Metrowagonmash-Mytischi (TMH) hold all contracts for the manufacture of these trains and their rakes.

Other players include the Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL), Bengaluru Rail Wheel Factory, Ramkrishna Forgings-Titagarh Wagons, etc. Different companies have different parts to produce for the single train.

Did you know what railway rakes are?

A collection of coupled train coaches come together to form a rake – rakes form a train. 

 Different parts of a railway coach (ICF Standards)

Bogie FrameThe framework for the entire railway bogie
Bogie BolsterThe point where entire weight of the bogie is concentrated
Centre Pivot PinProvides cushioning effect
Wheel Set AssemblyContains wheel-axle arrangements of bogies
Roller Bearing AssemblyHelps regulate torque (rotation) of axle
Brake Beam AssemblySafety device
Brake HeadTo stop train if primary breaks fail
Brake Blocks and LeversTo act as brakes for train bogie
Brake CylinderHelps in the braking mechanism
Primary SuspensionMakes travel by train comfortable by softening bumps and cushioning effect

How long did it take to build these trains?

The first train was inaugurated after four years of planning and production. Low-cost maintenance and operation was the main goal behind building these trains.

There were different versions of the train during production: Vande Bharat 1 (VB1); Vande Bharat 2 (VB2), Mini Vande Bharat 2 (MVB2), Vande Bharat 2 Modified 1 (VB2M1), Vande Bharat 2 Modified 2 (VB2M2), Vande Bharat 3 (VB3), and Vande Bharat 4 (VB4).

It costs ₹115 crores (US$14 million) to build a sixteen-coach train. Building an 8-coach Mini Vande Bharat train costs about ₹70 crores (US$8.8 million).

What are its current commercial routes?

The Vande Bharat Express has fourteen routes:

  1. New Delhi – Varanasi Vande Bharat Express
  2. New Delhi – Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Katra (J&K) Vande Bharat Express
  3. Gandhinagar- Mumbai Vande Bharat Express
  4. New Delhi – Amb Andaura Vande Bharat Express
  5. Chennai-Mysuru Vande Bharat Express
  6. Nagpur-Bilaspur Vande Bharat Express
  7. Howrah – New Jalpaiguri Vande Bharat Express
  8. Secunderabad-Visakhapatnam Vande Bharat Express
  9. Mumbai- Solapur Vande Bharat Express
  10. Mumbai- Shirdi Vande Bharat Express
  11. Hazrat Nizamuddin- Rani Kamlapati station Vande Bharat Express
  12. Secunderabad- Tirupati Vande Bharat Express
  13. Chennai-Coimbatore Vande Bharat Express
  14. Ajmer-Delhi Cantt Vande Bharat Express

What other countries have trains like these?

India is not the first country to start such low-cost country-wide railway operations. 

Other examples are:

FranceTrain Grande Vitesse (TGV)
JapanJapan Railways Group
United KingdomEurostar
GermanyInter City Express (ICE)
South KoreaKorea Train eXpress (KTX)
SpainAlta Velocidad Espanla (AVE)

Let us know if you ever travel on the Vande Bharat Express!

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Headine Image Source: By Harshul12345 via Wikimedia Commons


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