Government-owned Indian Railways has unveiled its new Vande Sadharan Express train, which is set to enter official service this month after a current trial period. Controversially, the new rolling stock does not include air conditioning.
The Vande Sadharan Express arrived at the Wadi Bunder yard on 29 October and is set to undergo a trial segment that is reported to be conducted on the Mumbai-Nashik corridor.
The 22-coach non-AC sleeper train will feature a top speed of 130km/h and be able to transport over 1,800 passengers. The new train will also include 18 unreserved and four reserved non-air-conditioned coaches.
IR officials have stated how the new trains will be dependent on public opinion: “Depending on the passenger response, additional numbers of the Vande Sadharan trains will progressively be introduced.”
The Vande Sadharan is set to be a low-cost travel option in comparison to the Vande Bharat Express train, which will feature sleeper coaches and a new seating facility offering extra spaces.
The new train is designed at a slower pace than the Vande Bharat Express, but it is aimed at a low-cost market.
The Vande Sadhran reportedly costs Rs 600m ($7m) in comparison to the Vande Bharat, which costs Rs 1.2bn ($14m).
In addition, the Indian Government plans to offer non-air conditioned general category trains for low-income groups, such as migrant labourers, in 2024, according to The Economic Times.