Union Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw during the inspection of  Vande Bharat's sleeper coach at BEML in Bengaluru, Saturday, March 9, 2024.
Union Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw during the inspection of Vande Bharat's sleeper coach at BEML in Bengaluru, Saturday, March 9, 2024.

Railway Minister unveils body structure of Vande Bharat sleeper variant

Bengaluru | Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw Saturday unveiled the body structure of Vande Bharat's sleeper coaches at a Bharat Earth Movers Limited (BEML) facility here.

BEML comes under the Ministry of Defence and manufactures products for various sectors such as defence, aerospace, mining, construction, rail and metro among others. It has also got orders to make 10 trainsets of (160 coaches) Vande Bharat Sleeper.

Vaishnaw said Vande Bharat train has three versions -- chair car, sleeper and metro. While the chair car version has already been launched and is very popular, the first carbody of Vande sleeper is ready.

"Now, its furnishing work will happen. Manufacturing carbody is the most difficult work. Today, we will discuss how to scale it up further," Vaishnaw told mediapersons .

He added, "We will test the first trainset for five to six months and only after that it will be launched. Since the sleeper train is based on the same technology on which the chair car is working, it will offer similar benefits such as jerk-free, noiseless, quick acceleration and deceleration etc."

The Railway Minister said special attention is being paid to passengers’ comfort that in sleeper train.

"The foot area of the ladder to enter the train has been improved for passengers for easy entry. Toilets have new designs and air-conditioning has also better control. The seat cushion is better with new technology. Oxygen level will be maintained and 99.99 percent virus will be eliminated," he said.

According to him, this new age train has better safety features when compared to the mail/express trains running currently.

"In other developed countries, the manufacturing cost of one coach with similar amenities comes around Rs 10 crore. However, the one Vande Bharat Sleeper Coach cost comes around Rs 8-9 crore because a lot of work has been happening in-house with our own manpower and technology," Vaishnaw said.

BEML CMD Shri Shantanu Roy said, "We are delighted to be a part of creating this milestone that will facilitate comfort and world-class facilities while minimising travel time. Our production is operating at full capacity, and the entire manufacturing and assembly process is undertaken at BEML, emphasising our commitment to quality and precision by specialised team of engineers and staff."

According to a press statement from BEML, these sleeper trains set a new benchmark in passenger comfort and convenience, offering world-class facilities and best-in-class interiors.

"It marks a significant milestone as India embarks on the journey of introducing sleeper variants within the acclaimed Vande Bharat platform," it said.

BEML officials said that Integral Coach Factory (ICF), Chennai, placed an order with it in May 2023 for the design, manufacture, and commissioning of 10 rakes (16 car each) Vande Bharat sleeper version.

"These trains will undergo necessary modifications to seamlessly transition from chair car variants to sleeper versions, ensuring compliance with crashworthiness and fire safety requirements,” the press statement said.

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