Pathanamthitta: After Vande Bharat, Kerala is likely to witness ‘AC Vande Metro’ services which will be launched soon by Indian Railways. The Railway Board is currently considering routes where the new services could be conducted and each railway zone in the country has been directed to recommend five Vande Metro trains.
200 km covered on a one-way route
A Vande Metro train covers a distance of 200 km on a one-way route. However, extension of the distance would be considered. Vande Metro trains will not have stops at all stations where passenger trains halt.
The routes being considered for Vande Metro trains in Kerala are: Ernakulam – Kozhikode, Kozhikode – Palakkad, Palakkad – Kottayam, Ernakulam – Coimbatore, Madurai – Guruvayur, Thiruvananthapuram – Ernakulam, Kollam – Tirunelveli, Kollam – Thrissur, Mangaluru – Kozhikode and Nilambur – Mettupalayam. Among these routes, electrification of the track is yet to be completed till Nilambur.
The Railway Board will finalize the routes to operate Vande Metro services based on the recommendation of the Southern Railway, said officials.
12 AC coaches
Each Vande Metro train will have 12 fully-air-conditioned coaches. The train will be able to achieve a maximum speed of 130 kmph.
The coaches will have large windows and automatic doors, similar to Vande Bharat trains.
According to authorities, the first rake of Vande Metro will roll out from Integral Coach Factory, Chennai in November this year.