VB like non-AC sleeper to be launched by month-end
The train, a 22-coach non-AC train resembling Vande Bharat in its external appearance will be coloured orange and grey replicating the latest VB model
CHENNAI: The Integral Coach Factory (ICF) will unveil the prototype of a Vande Bharat-like “non-AC push-pull” train by the end of the month. According to highly placed ICF sources, the prototype is going through the finishing touches.
The train, a 22-coach non-AC train resembling Vande Bharat in its external appearance will be coloured orange and grey replicating the latest VB model. But, the comfort and features would be different.
“The train would have a locomotive each at the front and rear, unlike the conventional trains that have only one locomotive in the front to pull the coaches. Changes have also been made to the locomotive’s design. It will offer greater acceleration and deceleration,” the officer said on condition of anonymity.
The aerodynamics of the locomotive, to be manufactured by Chittaranjan Locomotive Works for the “push-pull train,” has been changed to resemble the Vande Bharat train.
“Though some features have been used, it is not a Vande Bharat train. So, it cannot be called a non-AC Vande Bharat train. It would be an upgraded three-tier sleeper version with better acceleration and deceleration capacity,” the ICF officer explained.
However, one feature of the Vande Bharat train has been generously put to use in the “push-pull train” prototype – the coupler. The non-AC train prototype has been developed using the Semi-Permanent Couplers (SMC), a coupling technology developed by Swedish manufacturer Dellner, used between coaches. Unlike the Linke-Hoffmann Busch coaches, which use relatively flexible Centre Buffer Couplers that produce more jerks during rapid acceleration and deceleration, the Semi-Permanent Couplers used between coaches in the VB trains would be rigid and cause fewer jerks during acceleration and deceleration.
Asked about the launch of commercial production of the push-pull train, the ICF top brass explained that approval of the prototype by the Research Design and Standards Organisation (RDSO) was the first step in the process. “Upon securing the approval of RDSO, we would get the consent of the Railway Board and start commercial production of the non-AC train,” the officer explained.
Meanwhile,Union railway minister Ashwini Vaishaw had recently posted the concept of a Vande Bharat sleeper train. The train is expected to be rolled out in early 2024.