The Indian Railways is planning more Vande Bharats and will be holding training sessions to ensure there are sufficient personnel to deal with the maintenance and inspection of the indigenous trains.
At present, there are 25 Vande Bharat trains running across India and about nine more are ready to be flagged off. “We will be rolling out more trains in the coming weeks. With these many trains, it becomes essential to ensure that adequate qualified and competent trained personnel are available for regular scheduled maintenance of the Vande Bharat rakes and for inspections of its various sub-assemblies like propulsion, controls, brake system, plug doors, electrical system, vacuum toilets, and earthing system,” said a ministry official demanding anonymity.
Officials said directions have been issued to Chennai-based Integral Coach Factory (ICF) to plan structured skill development training sessions in consultation with original equipment manufacturers. The sessions should also include feedback received from railway zones where Vande Bharat trains are already operational.
“The training module will be designed to facilitate learning and effective understanding of train maintenance and operation, containing theoretical as well as practical sessions, including various protocols to be followed in case of any unusual and related safety to be followed while working on the train,” said a ministry order. It also said the matter should be treated as “most urgent”.
Earlier this week, News18 had reported that since mid-July, at least nine Vande Bharat trains have left the ICF, where they are manufactured. Since July 7, however, new trains have not been inaugurated.
Among the new Vande Bharats ready for inauguration are trains for poll-bound Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. Odisha is also likely to get a second train.
This week, railway minister Ashwini Vaishnaw visited Udaipur and Neemuch railway stations as well as other parts of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh for inspection. All states with electrified railway routes have at least one Vande Bharat now. The semi high-speed train is awaited in northeast India, except Assam.