Railways to introduce 3,000 new trains in 5 years: Ashwini Vaishnaw
New Delhi: Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw on Thursday said he is working on a plan to introduce 3,000 new trains in the next four-five years to raise the railways' passenger capacity from 800 crore at present to 1,000 crore. Vaishnaw also said that decreasing travel time is another target of his ministry.
At present, the railways is carrying about 800 crore passengers annually. We have to increase the capacity to 1,000 crore in four to five years as the population is growing, Vaishnaw told reporters at the Rail Bhawan here. For this, we need 3,000 extra trains which will make several trips to accommodate this increased number of passengers, he said.
According to railways sources, there are 69,000 new coaches available and every year it is manufacturing about 5,000 new coaches. The sources said that with all these efforts the railways can add 200 to 250 new trains every year and these are besides 400 to 450 Vande Bharat trains, which are going to be added in the coming years.
Vaishnaw said decreasing travel time is another target, for which, the railways is working to improve speed of trains and expand the rail network. It is important to minimise the time taken to accelerate and decelerate a long route train because besides scheduled stoppages, it has to decrease its speed at several cautions and curves along the route, he said.
If we take the Delhi-Kolkata route from Rajdhani Express, and if we improve the acceleration and deceleration time at curves, stations and cautions, we will save two hours and 20 minutes from the current total travel time, Vaishnaw said. He stated that Vande Bharat's acceleration and deceleration is four times better than other mail and express trains and that's the reason it saves a lot of travel time and has better average speed.
Since it will take time to introduce Vande Bharat on all routes, the railways is working out an intermediate solution to improve the acceleration and deceleration by doubling it from the current practice, he said. This is possible with a technology known as push-pull configuration mode. We are planning to introduce this push-pull configuration on all the coaches which are being manufactured now. Long distance trains will be upgraded and significant travel time will be saved, Vaishnaw said.
Besides the push-pull mode, Vaishnaw also said that instead of having a train with separate coaches attached together, the railways is working to have a train with integrated 22 coaches (a train set with 22 coaches) which will have multiple benefits for the passengers. So, instead of turning out coaches from our factories, now we will turn out trains. It has a lot of safety measures so they are safe and convenient in several ways, he said.
Vaishnav said every year around 5,000 km of tracks are laid to further enhance the capacity significantly. As many as 1,000 flyovers and underpasses have also been sanctioned and work has started at many places. Last year, we constructed 1,002 flyovers and underpasses and this year we have a target of 1,200, Vaishnaw added.