Average speed of Vande Bharat drops from 84 kmph to 76 kmph over three years: RTI

Average speed of Vande Bharat drops from 84 kmph to 76 kmph over three years: RTI

Average speed of Vande Bharat drops from 84 kmph to 76 kmph over three years: RTI

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The average speed of Vande Bharat trains has declined from 84.48 kmph in 2020-21 to 76.25 kmph in 2023-24, according to an RTI response from the railway ministry. This decrease in speed is attributed to various factors, including ongoing infrastructural work, geographical challenges, and extreme weather conditions.

Key Points

Initial Launch and Decline in Speed:

Vande Bharat trains, introduced in February 2019, initially recorded an average speed of 84.48 kmph in 2020-21.

By 2023-24, the average speed has reduced to 76.25 kmph.

Infrastructural Work: Significant construction and upgrades on railway tracks require cautionary speed limits, impacting the speed of Vande Bharat and other trains.

Geographical and Weather Challenges: Certain routes, such as the Konkan railway area, present difficult terrains with low-height mountain ranges and challenging conditions, especially during monsoon seasons.

Track Suitability: Except for specific segments like the Delhi-Agra route, tracks across the country are not yet suitable for the train’s maximum speed of 160 kmph. The maximum operational speed on most tracks is limited to 130 kmph or less.

Some routes exhibit speeds significantly below the average, such as Dehradun-Anand Vihar (63.42 kmph), Patna-Ranchi (62.9 kmph), and Coimbatore-Bangalore Cantt (58.11 kmph).

The railway ministry is working on upgrading tracks to support higher speeds, with aims to eventually facilitate speeds up to 250 kmph. The ongoing infrastructural projects and upgrades are expected to improve the train’s speed once completed.

Experts criticize the railway’s inability to lay suitable tracks for semi-high speed trains even after five years since the introduction of Vande Bharat. They argue that infrastructural limitations have prevented the trains from achieving their potential speed.

Despite the speed issues, Vande Bharat trains remain popular, with over 2.15 crore passengers having travelled by them till March 31. The network has expanded to connect 284 districts across India, with 102 Vande Bharat trains servicing 100 routes.

While the Vande Bharat Express trains offer modern features and have gained popularity, their potential is currently limited by infrastructural and geographical challenges. The railway ministry continues to work on upgrades that are expected to enhance train speeds and overall efficiency in the future.