Vande Bharat trains with a capacity to run at 200 kmph will be on the tracks soon. The Integral Coach Factory (ICF) in Chennai has called for an expression of Interest for the design of 200 kmph standard gauge bogies for the Vande Bharat trainsets. The Scope of work is to review the design of Bogies to operate in Surat to Bilimora (47 km) of the Mumbai - Ahmedabad High-Speed Rail Corridor.

At present, the maximum speed of VBEs is 160 kmph.

The ICF has been Indian Railways’ key manufacturing unit to produce VBE with the first version flagged off in February 2019 by Prime Minister. This was followed by Vande Bharat Version 2.0 with improvements. There is a Vande Bharat special version for J&K with cold and heat sustenance fittings.

Innovation update

VBE cargo is under development and Vande Metro is under production. The Vande Bharat sleeper is not manufactured by ICF but by BEML. Later, ICF may produce, said sources.

The EoI says that the bogie shall be designed for a service life of 35 years under standard maintenance practices. The current wheel diameter of the Vande Bharat bogie is 952 mm. It is planned to retain the same wheel diameter, preferably. However, the design should also include wheel sizes of 915 mm.

The 12-car trainset will be 288 m long and 3.24 m wide. A motorised retractable footstep shall be considered for bridging the gap between the car and the platform. For all other dimensions, the trainset will have to comply with the MAHSR schedule of dimensions. The maximum axle load for all types of cars in the trainset shall be limited to 17 tonnes, the EoI said.

The deliverables include submitting a 3D model of the full bogie duly accommodating fully suspended traction motors and structural reports (structural as well as dynamic validation), the EoI said.

Indian Railways is constructing the 59 km long dedicated standard gauge track between Gudha and Thathana Mithri to conduct trails for these rolling stock which can attain speeds of up to 220 kmph.

A total of 82 Vande Bharat train services are operating across the Indian Railways, connecting states having Broad Gauge electrified network. These Vande Bharat trains touches 24 States and 256 districts. Modi will flag off ten more on Tuesday.