Target of 475 Vande Bharat trains in 3 yrs on track: Vaishnaw
New Delhi: Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw on Thursday said that the plan for the production of 475 Vande Bharat trains in the next three years is on track.
The minister, speaking at the Times Now Summit, said that Bullet Trains will be fully functional by 2026.
On the redevelopment of railway stations, the minister said that master plans for 138 stations have been made, while designs have been finalised for as many as 57 stations.
"The target of having 475 Vande Bharat trains...is on track. In the last budget, 400 trains were sanctioned and before that 75 had been sanctioned. We will be achieving the entire target in the coming three years," he said.
The minister that Vande Bharat has evoked good interest among many countries and its quality parameters match world-class trains.
Replying to a question on safety aspects amid incidents of cattle hits involving Vande Bharat trains, the minister said that the train's 'crumble zones' are designed to absorb the impact, restricting damage to the front portion.
"The Vande Bharat has a design where the front portion is designed to dismantle...so only the front portion is dismantled," Vaishnaw said adding that work on fencing is progressing rapidly and this will eventually address the problem.
To a question of time and cost overruns on an ambitious bullet train project, the minister explained that the technology and initial design phase for such trains is very complex.
"...We have built close to 110 km of track already. The train will be fully operational by 2026," he said, adding design changes in the Japanese model to suit the Indian environment are taking some time.