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‘Vande Bharat Bullet Train’ soon? Indian Railways looks to roll out ‘Make in India’ bullet trains with 250 kmph speed this year

Make in Indiabullet trains on Vande Bharat platform! The Indian Railways has assigned the Integral Coach Factory (ICF) the task of domestically producing two standard-gauge bullet trains within the current fiscal year. This decision comes as negotiations with Japanese suppliers encountered obstacles due to pricing disagreements, according to officials.
According to an ET report by Twesh Mishra, for the first time, India will manufacture a train capable of reaching a maximum speed of 250 kilometers per hour (kmph).These two trains are intended to operate on the Rs 1.08 lakh crore Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Rail corridor.
It is likely that the trains will be constructed using the Vande Bharat platform. Although utilizing an existing platform would assist ICF in reducing the time required to deliver the train sets, experts noted that supplying them within this fiscal year would be a challenging task.

Bullet train project

Bullet train project

A senior official familiar with the development was quoted as saying, “ICF, Chennai has been tasked to build and deliver two standard-gauge trainsets of eight cars, each featuring a steel car body, and a running speed of 220 kmph and a maximum speed of 250 kmph.”
The official added that the order for the trains was placed earlier this week. Officials said that discussions with a consortium of Japanese rolling stock suppliers, Hitachi and Kawasaki, have been ongoing for an extended period but have made little progress.
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The cost of a 10-coach bullet train was estimated at Rs 389 crore in 2018, with each train expected to reach cruising speeds of over 300 kmph. In 2023, the estimated supply cost was revised to Rs 460 crore per train set. Despite the Japanese consortium’s willingness to supply the ‘Shinkansen’ train sets, the Indian Railways remains unconvinced about the offered price.
The bullet train project has experienced significant delays from its original completion deadline of 2022, primarily due to land acquisition challenges in Maharashtra. Experts believe that ICF will face an uphill battle to meet the timeline set by the Indian Railways for developing trains capable of running at 250 kmph.
Sudhanshu Mani, a retired Indian Railways official credited with developing the first variant of the Vande Bharat trains, noted that the current top speed of Vande Bharat trains is only 180 kmph. He added, “This bullet train development and supply target can be achieved by ICF over three to four years.”

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