Railways and Communication Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, on Sunday, said that the first indigenously designed and built hydrogen train would roll out in December 2023. As per the minister, like Vande Bharat, the Indian Railways is working on the new environment-friendly trains and the engineers are designing it.
“The design process is already going on and we should be able to roll out the first hydrogen train in the country by December 2023,” he added. The world’s first-ever fleet of Hydrogen-powered trains was tested in Germany recently and the country will replace around 14 diesel trains to induct world’s greenest train.
Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw further said “We are designing and the design should be out by anywhere by May or June — We are designing a worldclass Vande Metro which will be a great leap forward,” Vaishnaw told reporters during an interaction.
“These Vande Metro train will be manufactured in such large numbers that across the country, the trains which were of 1950s and 1960s designs will all be replaced,” he added. Stressing that these Vande Metro will take care of middle-class and the poor, the Union Minister said the focus is not on the high-end customer.
“Rich people can always take care of themselves. The Central government, especially Prime Minister Narendra Modi focuses on middle and lower classes people who are not able to afford,” he underlined. The Prime Minister wants railways to make very big transformative change in every Indian’s life, Vaishnaw said.
Vaishnaw ruled out privatisation of railways saying, “Railways is a strategic sector and it will remain with the government.” The Union Minister said the Railways is working on Vande Bharat-3 design, which will also have sleeper class. These trains would also be used for long journey.
Presently, the Railways is taking up 12 km of railway track construction a day, which used to be a mere four km a day during the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government from 2004 to 2014.
Next year, the Railways would achieve laying 16 km to 17 km tracks a day, though the Prime Minister has set a target of 20 kilometres of laying railway lines a day, the Minister said.
Regarding the bullet train corridor construction between Mumbai and Ahmedabad, he said it is going on at a full speed. The technology of bullet train operations is so complex given the vibration it will generate but the Indian engineers have mastered the technology, Vaishnaw claimed.
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The Railways will take up 11 or 12 more corridors in the country after the successful completion of the Mumbai-Ahmedabad corridor.