On track: Faster, greener trains on Shatabdi, Rajdhani routes

By Srinand Jha  www.hindustantimes.com

Railways minister Suresh Prabhu has approved a Rs 2,400-crore plan for the acquisition of 15 state-of-the-art Electrical Multiple Unit (EMU) train sets from European or Japanese vendors to enable a technological leap for India’s public transporter.

The first lot of these modern three-phase Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor (IGBT) technology train-sets,  which do not have locomotives or power cars and are 25% more energy-efficient, are proposed to be run on five Shatabdi and 10 Rajdhani routes. At an average speed of 130 km/ph, these train-sets would reduce travel time on the Delhi-Howrah and Delhi-Mumbai routes by approximately three hours. Average speed of existing Rajdhani and Shatabdi trains is estimated at 90 km/ph.

A cabinet note seeking inclusion of the train-sets in the rolling stock programme of the upcoming rail budget identifies four options: Import of few train-sets of modern design with comfortable interiors; permitting private operators to run train-sets on select routes on a PPP basis; manufacturing train-set equipment at the state-owned rail coach factory at Kapurthala — or the firming up of MoUs with some governments for introduction of train-sets technology in India on a trial basis. More info

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