When you think about traveling on Indian Railways, what comes to mind? The unpleasant experience of booking your tickets, stinky toilets, unhygienic seats, and old, tired-looking stations, right?
But recently, my relatives traveled on the Vande Bharat Express, and they felt like they were not in Indian Railways. The trains resembled those in Western countries, just like in the movies.
Believe me, by the end, you will be shocked by what is happening in the Indian railways. Countries where we used to praise the punctuality, safety, and experience of trains are now trying to emulate the standard operating procedures of India's railway model. What difference will Vande Bharat make for Indians? Is it a necessary step for India, or is it just a political stunt?
In this article, we will cover the challenges in the current railway system and the changes that will be implemented. Hi, I am Priyanshi Sikchi
India's railway system is so vast that 25 million people use trains every day. To put it in perspective, that's the entire population of Mumbai. However, there are issues like train delays, unhygienic washrooms, train accidents, long travel durations, and lack of connectivity on some routes that Indians have accepted as inevitable inconveniences of train travel.
But the Railway Minister has said, "Challenge Accepted." They plan to transform every train in the next 10 years. By 2025, they aim to launch 400 Vande Bharat trains. Almost every 8 days, a new Vande Bharat train is launched. By mid-June, every state will be connected by Vande Bharat.
Through these trains, they aim to provide Indians with safety, speed, and experience. They will focus on improving stations, trains, and operations like ticketing, washrooms, hygiene, and safety.
The goal is to provide a world-class experience at the lowest cost.
Now let's discuss the three key points:
Stations: The focus is on preserving the heritage and maintaining the historical look of stations while ensuring growth. They have already built 1,200 stations for Vande Bharat.
Trains & Tracks: The speed of these trains is even higher than bullet trains. They can reach speeds of up to 160 km/h, with smooth acceleration and minimal jerks. The noise level inside the train will be 100 times lesser than an airplane. The journey time will be reduced by 25% to 45%.
Operations: AI chatbots will be available on the IRCTC website to answer passengers' questions. Automatic doors will be installed in every coach, and the toilets will be bio vacuum type, ensuring cleanliness and eliminating stinky odors. The braking systems will save 30% electrical energy.
After hearing all this, one might wonder if it's worth investing such a huge budget of 2.4 trillion rupees in the railways. The aim is to create a hub and spoke model for better connectivity, benefiting business and reducing logistics costs. The cost of transportation by rail is one-third of that by road.
When we compare the prices of travel, they are significantly cheaper in India compared to countries like France, Japan, and Switzerland.
So, there you have it. The Indian Railways is undergoing a massive transformation to provide a world-class experience to its passengers.