The first Vande Bharat Express between Jaipur and Delhi is set to begin service by mid-April, according to Union Rail Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw. The minister was in town to speak at the National Museum on the topic of “The Role of Railways in Infrastructural Development in India.”
In his speech, Vaishnaw highlighted the government’s efforts to modernize the railway system in the country. He mentioned that the Modi government has electrified 34,000 km of track in the last eight years, compared to just 30,000 km in the preceding 60 years. He also expressed his vision to cover every corner of the country with the Vande Bharat Express trains and stated that they would follow the same system as in countries like Japan, Switzerland, and France, where trains run every hour.
In reference to the launch of the Vande Bharat Express in Rajasthan, Vaishnaw stated that modifications had to be made to the overhead electrical wiring, which was a little higher in the region due to the use of double-stack container trains by the North Western Railway (NWR). He further stated that the aim was to launch the inaugural train between Jaipur and Delhi by mid-April, if not earlier.
In response to a query on reducing travel time between Jaipur and Delhi, Vaishnaw said that it would take some time as the route had several curves that slowed traffic down. He added that the curves would be straightened over the next two to three years using underpasses and flyovers, and a speed of 130 km/h could be achieved using the current infrastructure.
Vaishnaw also mentioned the introduction of Vande Metro trains in two to three years, connecting rural villages with large cities. He stated that these 20-30 minute-frequent regional trains would run between Jaipur and Dausa, Phulera, and Sikar, transporting people from minor communities to major cities.
The minister also discussed the renovation of railway stations under the Amrit Bharat project. He stated that work had started at 50 stations, including seven in Rajasthan, and that the Prime Minister desired that these stations be created with the demands of the next 50 years in mind. In the initial phase, 83 of the 1,275 stations to be renovated will be in Rajasthan.
Also Read: 100 Coaches Appointed To Strengthen Sports Ecosystem In Rajasthan: CM Gehlot