Ashwini Vaishnav also gave important information about Indian Railways developing its own Automatic Train Protection (ATP) system named Kavach to increase safety in trains.
New Delhi: New Delhi: Railways, IT and Communications Minister Ashwini Vaishnav has said that the prototype of India's first hydrogen train will run on the country's tracks in December this year, while India's first bullet train is targeted to run in August 2026.
Answering a series of questions on Railways, IT and communication, Vaishnav said: '140 kms of pillars have already been built, bridges over 8 rivers have come up to deck level and work is progressing fast at all 13 stations in Maharashtra' Is. The bullet train will run at a speed of 320 kmph. The Prime Minister of Japan sent his most senior colleague to India to supervise the work, and he was surprised to see the speed of the work and its quality.
Speaking on the hydrogen train in India TV Samvad Budget 2023, Vaishnav said, 'Hydrogen train is a very complex technology. Electricity is generated using hydrogen fuel. Only 2-3 countries have made trains with this technology. Prime Minister Modi wanted India to lead in this technology, not follow others.
Already we have done testing of different systems like fuel cell system, power train system, vehicle control system and now we will integrate it. The first hydrogen train may run on Indian tracks by December 2023. It is a difficult target. There are many tests of the train because the safety of the people is a big issue.
On Indian Railways developing its own Automatic Train Protection (ATP) system named Kavach to enhance safety in trains, Vaishnav said, "Whereas ATPs of other countries are running on 2G or 3G technology, and some countries have adopted 4G technology." Migrated towards, the Prime Minister has set a target of 5G for this. This is a very complex target. I am going to Secunderabad on Sunday (February 4) to study the details of the contractual plan on 5G at the Center for Excellence.
Praising the progress of Vande Bharat trains, Railway Minister said: 'Prime Minister Modi gave the concept of Vande Bharat in 2017, it was made in 2019, and it was tested for two years by running more than several lakh kilometers, and now practically A Vande Bharat train is being made every 8 to 10 days. Our target is to manufacture two to three Vande Bharat trains every week. Prime Minister Modi is a very demanding boss.
On accidents involving cattle being hit by Vande Bharat trains, Vaishnav replied: 'We have designed a fencing of 0.75 meters height and 1.4 meters height to avoid such accidents. The Vande Bharat train has been designed from the front in such a way that even if it collides with a 250 kg cattle, its kinetic energy can be absorbed and dissipated.
Buoyed by the allocation of Rs 2.41 lakh crore for railways in this year's budget, Vaishnav said: '4,500 km of new railway tracks will be laid, and 7,000 km of new tracks will be built in the financial year 2023-24. On an average, 12 km of new rail track will be added daily. After the pilot project of redevelopment of 3 railway stations at Gandhinagar, Bhopal and Bengaluru, now 53 stations will be redeveloped. Altogether 1,275 stations will be redeveloped. The life of a train is generally 35 years. They were earlier designed for a speed of 70 to 80 kmph, which has now been upgraded to 100 kmph. Now we will lay the track to handle trains running at 130 to 160 kmph. For this, about 1,000 flyovers or underpasses are being built. This will prevent cattle and other things from getting hit by the train.
For jobs in Railways, Vaishnav said, 'Recently more than 2 crore youth had applied for 1.45 lakh jobs in Indian Railways. The paper was not leaked because of the focus of Prime Minister Modi on the matter of transparency. Apart from 1.45 lakh jobs, there is a large family of suppliers and vendors at 750 stations. One Station is a unique local product concept of One Product, which is providing employment to local artisans. Recently a customer who bought black pottery at Azamgarh railway station got an export order for artisans. Think about the power of such a concept.
Rejecting talk of privatization of Indian Railways, the Railway Minister said: 'Those making such allegations are living in another world. Piyush Goyal who was Railway Minister before me and I have clearly stated on the floor of Parliament that there is no question of privatization of Indian Railways. Railway tracks, trains, stations, overhead wires, everything is owned by the Railways. Railways is a strategic sector with a huge social responsibility. It is a sector that serves the poorest of the poor. Hence, there is no question of privatizing it.
On discontinuing the concession in fare for senior citizens, Vaishnav said, “Railways already gives 55 per cent subsidy on rail fare to all citizens. This passenger fare subsidy works out to Rs 52,000 crore. Apart from this, the railways also gives subsidy on the transportation of food items and fertilizers. Our aim is to keep rail travel affordable for the poor as well.
Regarding the long waiting list in trains, Vaishnav said, 'Every year 800 crore people travel in railways. India's population is 130 crores, which means one person travels by train several times. It is expected to increase to 1100 crores. To increase its capacity, it will require huge investment.