Vande Bharat Hitting Reset On Train Travel?
NEW DELHI: Three years ago, India launched its first homegrown semi-high-speed train it connected New Delhi and Varanasi via Kanpur, Allahabad. Officially, it is called Vande Bharat. But at the Integral Coach Factor in Chennai, where the ambitious project to create a modern state-of-the-art train, it was christened Train-18—so that the staff working on the project remembered that the project had to be concluded in 18 months. Not only did they deliver on deadline, but the train has also been embraced by India. By the government as well as the people. Last year’s Union Budget promised to roll out 400 new Vande Bharat’s in 2025—six more are already operational. Clearly, Vande Bharat is poised to rewrite train travel in India. To understand why and more we spoke to Sudhanshu Mani, the former head of the Vande Bharat project.