The announcement of the new VB trains will be in addition to the already announced plan to making 475 such semi high-speed trains operational in the next 3-4 years. Sources said the ultimate aim is to sanction 300-400 such trains annually to meet the growing demand and to provide better riding experience to passengers.
On the plan to improve upon the design of these trains to increase their speed on existing tracks, a railway ministry official said India will get its first set of trains with tilting technology by 2025-26. Nearly 100 VB trains out of the already sanctioned 475 will use this technology, which enables trains to maneuver curves at higher speeds.
Railway minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said the first VB train with sleeper coaches will be rolled out in the first quarter of 2024 calendar year. Currently, all these trains are meant for broad gauge (BG) network. “We will be manufacturing these trains that can run on SG network. One test track with the design speed for 220 kmph is being developed in Rajasthan for carrying out the required tests. Once we have a big fleet of vb trains successfully running across the country, that will establish the technology for the entire world,” said a ministry official.