Vande Bharat Sleeper: Comprehensive Guide And Comparison with Vande Bharat Express

The Vande Bharat Sleeper, formerly known as Train-20, represents a groundbreaking venture by Indian Railways, aiming to revolutionize long-distance travel with modern amenities and advanced engineering. Here’s an in-depth exploration of its journey:

Background

Long-distance train travel in India often exceeds twelve hours, prompting the need for a semi-high-speed solution. Indian Railways envisioned the Vande Bharat Sleeper, an under-construction, high-speed electric multiple unit (EMU) train designed to replace the Rajdhani Express. It builds on the success of the medium-distance Vande Bharat Express, offering a transformation in exterior design, sleeping berths, and onboard features tailored for long-distance service.

Fresh Plans and Global Collaborations

Originally named Train-20, the project faced initial hurdles but gained momentum with fresh tenders in 2022. Contracts were awarded in 2023 to RVN-TMH and BHEL-Titagarh consortia for manufacturing 200 sleeper-class trainsets. The RVN-TMH consortium secured the contract to manufacture 120 trainsets, with BHEL-Titagarh set to produce the remaining 80. Alstom, the French rolling stock giant, emerged as the lowest bidder for 100 aluminium body trainsets. The production, set to commence in June 2025, aligns with India’s ‘Make in India’ project.

A Russian Twist

The Russian TMH, part of the RVN-TMH consortium, provided assurance with a ₹200 crore performance bank guarantee, securing the bid’s success. The consortium is set to manufacture and maintain the 120 trainsets at the Indian Railways facility for an impressive 35 years.

Production Dynamics

Key organizations like ICF-BEML, RVN-TMH, BHEL-Titagarh, and Alstom play crucial roles in production. The first prototype, crafted by ICF-BEML, is already in production, heralding the train’s launch in March 2024.

Engineering and Design

The Vande Bharat Sleeper is a modern train with 16 coaches that can carry up to 887 passengers. It has a sleek design, including eleven AC three-tier coaches, four AC two-tier coaches, and one AC first-class coach. The train can operate at speeds of up to 160 km/h. Thanks to its aerodynamic design, it reduces air resistance at high speeds, and motorized systems make it accelerate and decelerate quickly. The interiors, designed collaboratively by ICF and BEML, are modern and improved for passenger comfort.

Vande Bharat Sleeper vs. Vande Bharat Express

Purpose and Design

  • Vande Bharat Sleeper: Tailored for journeys exceeding 800 km, it promises comfort with AC sleeper class berths, succeeding the Rajdhani Express.
  • Vande Bharat Express: Designed for medium-distance travel, within the 800 km range, it focuses on AC chair car configuration.

Train Classes and Configuration

  • Vande Bharat Sleeper: Tailored for journeys exceeding 800 km, it promises comfort with AC sleeper class berths, succeeding the Rajdhani Express.
  • Vande Bharat Express: Designed for medium-distance travel, within the 800 km range, it focuses on AC chair car configuration.

Speed and Operation

  • Vande Bharat Sleeper: Geared for efficiency, it reaches speeds of up to 160 km/h, emphasizing faster travel for long-distance routes.
  • Vande Bharat Express: Operating at speeds ranging from 110 to 160 km/h, it provides rapid transit for medium distances.

Identity Transition

  • Vande Bharat Sleeper: Formerly known as Train-20, it aligns with the Vande Bharat brand, symbolizing its role as a sleeper-class successor.
  • Vande Bharat Express: Originally Train-18, it transitioned to Vande Bharat Express, reflecting its identity as a high-speed, chair car-focused train.

Features

The fully air-conditioned Vande Bharat Sleeper, with its exceptional interior design, offers automatic inter-communicative doors, minimized jerks, and enhanced soundproofing for a comfortable ride. Bunk beds with broader, comfortable designs prioritize passenger well-being, along with ergonomically designed restrooms catering to different needs. Ample room for luggage, public announcement systems, visual information systems, and a hot shower facility in the first-class AC enhance the overall travel experience.

Conclusion

The Vande Bharat Sleeper promises innovation, not just in efficient travel but also in elevating passenger comfort and convenience. As it gears up for production, this sleeper train heralds a new era for long-distance travel in India.


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