Union Ministry of Railways Ashwini Vaishnaw on Friday reiterated that there is no question of privatisation of Railways.

“I have already informed Parliament, and outside many times that there is no question of privatisation of Railways. Our focus is totally on adaptation of new technologies for the betterment of Indian Railways, such as Kavach Anti-collision safety devices, that will be fitted on Vande Bharat Express coaches as well,” he told newspersons at ICF.

Vaishnaw inspected the Vande Bharat Express coaches under production at the LHB (Linke Hofmann Busch) shed of Furnishing Factory, ICF. The first two prototype rakes are planned to be turned out by August. Indian Railways is committed to roll out 75 Vande Bharat rakes by August 2023, says a release from ICF.

“Vande Bharat Express is a proud project for Indian Railways. I congratulate Team ICF for the design and development of these coaches which are of world class. All regions of India will be connected through Vande Bharat Express trains as envisaged by Prime Minister which is a dream coming true for all of us,” he said.

To a question if railway tracks will be upgraded too for Vande Bharat, the minister said that there are many aspects that to be kept in mind for increasing the speed of operation of trains in India, such as trains, tracks, safety and the bridges. Once these are streamlined, the operations of trains will be done at maximum. Along with Vande Bharat, the Railways is parallely working on improving tracks and safety. The Railways is working on tracks that can withstand train speed of 180 kmph to 200 kmph, he said.

The Prime Minister’s vision is to transform Indian Railways to give better passenger experience, higher safety, with more passenger capacity. All stations in Indian Railways are being re-developed. Around 50 stations have already been undergoing the process.

5 stations shortlisted

In Tamil Nadu, five stations - Chennai Egmore, Madurai, Kaniyakumari, Rameshwaram and Katpadi - have been shortlisted under the project. A sum of ₹3,685 crore have been allotted for railway projects in Tamil Nadu in the current budget, he said.

Vaishnaw also flagged off the 12,000th LHB AC-II Tier Coach at the Furnishing factory. This is a great milestone in the history of Indian Railways and a benchmark in modernisation of passenger train services. ICF is the first production unit of Indian Railways to achieve such a benchmark in the production of LHB coaches, the release said.