Chennai’s Integral Coach Factory (ICF) is taking a step forward in enhancing connectivity and travel experience by introducing specialized Vande Bharat trains for the Jammu and Kashmir region. These trains are anticipated to be operational by the next year, aimed at providing comfortable and efficient travel options.
Advanced Features for Comfortable Travel
In consideration of the unique temperature conditions in the Jammu and Kashmir region, the upcoming Vande Bharat trains will be equipped with innovative features. The train compartments will have heating provisions to ensure a cozy environment for passengers. Additionally, specialized pipes have been incorporated into the design to prevent freezing and potential breakage of water lines, further enhancing the reliability of the trains.
Expansion to Jammu and Srinagar Routes
These specialized Vande Bharat trains are set to operate between the cities of Jammu and Srinagar. This expansion is contingent upon the completion of the Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla Rail Link (USBRL), which spans a distance of 272 kilometers. The USBRL project aims to establish a vital rail link connecting these cities, promoting convenience and accessibility for travelers.
Diverse Variants for Enhanced Travel
The initiative to introduce specialized Vande Bharat trains is a part of ICF’s strategic approach to cater to various travel needs. B G Mallya, the general manager of ICF, has shared that the factory is projected to manufacture around 3,241 coaches across approximately 30 different variants this year. Among these variants are two push-pull trains equipped with LHB coaches, promising a travel experience similar to that of Vande Bharat trains in the non-AC segments.
“This train will boast improved interiors and best-in-class passenger amenities similar to those provided in Vande Bharat trains. A specially designed locomotive will be attached at each end of the train to enable efficient push-pull operation, resulting in enhanced speed. The rollout of two such trains is planned for this year,” he explained.
Future Prospects and Expansion
ICF’s vision encompasses an array of innovative variants to meet diverse travel demands. In addition to the specialized Vande Bharat trains for the Jammu and Kashmir region, ICF is also gearing up to introduce other variants:
- A sleeper version of the Vande Bharat train tailored for long-distance journeys.
- The Vande Metro variant catering to intercity short-distance commuters.
- The Gati Shakti train designed for swift freight transport within the Vande Bharat platform. This train will facilitate the efficient movement of e-commerce goods, fast-moving consumer goods, and refrigerated commodities.
The success of Vande Bharat Express in establishing rapid connectivity between major cities has laid the foundation for further expansion. Currently, there are 25 Vande Bharat trains operational throughout the country, and an additional four train sets are awaiting approval for deployment this month. As part of the expansion plan, Vande Bharat trains are poised to be introduced on various routes, including Patna-Howrah, Kacheguda-Yeshwanthpur, Chennai-Vijayawada, and Chennai-Tirunalveli.
For the latest updates, stay tuned to reliable sources and official announcements.