By Arun Pratap Singh
Dehradun, 19 May: While the state government has made know that the Railway Ministry has agreed to soon start a Vande Bharat Train to run between Dehradun and New Delhi, there is another Vande train that may also be launched from Dehradun. This train will however not be an electric Vande Bharat Express but will run on Hydrogen fuel.It will be called Vande Metro and is expected to run between Dehradun and Kathgodam.
Sources state that the Indian Railways is planning to start a few Vande Metro trains in the country soon. The difference between the Vande Bharat and the Vande Metro is that the latter will not be powered by electricity but by Hydrogen. The project to run such trains is in an advanced stage of planning and execution.
The Vande Metro trains have been designed by Indian Railway Engineers based on indigenous technology and will be manufactured in the country. It will be run between two stations at several places where the distance is not more than 350 km. Sources claim that the Indian Railways has agreed to run a Vande Metro train service between Dehradun and Kathgodam, which will be the third train between Dehradun and Kathgodam. At present, the Dehradun-Kathgodam Express runs on a daily basis between the two stations and the second is the Naini Jan Shatabdi. Dehradun-Kathgodam Express leaves Dehradun every night at 11:30 p.m., while the Naini Jan Shatabdi departs at 3:55 p.m. There are a lot of passengers between Dehradun and Kathgodam as these trains connect the Garhwal and the Kumaon regions of Uttarakhand.
Meanwhile the Vande Bharat Express to run between Dehradun and New Delhi may start service by the end of this month itself. The timetable is being prepared to find the right time slot for the train and it will take around 5 hours to cover the distance between Dehradun and New Delhi. It will thus be the fastest train between the two stations. The time slot will be fixed with the aim of not disturbing the timings and running of the Shatabdi and Jan Shatabdi trains. The time table is expected to be approved within the next few days.
The state government has been pursuing a lot of proposals with regard to trains from Uttarakhand. However, so far, only some of the demands have been met by the Railway Ministry. While the work on constructing the Rishikesh-Karnaprayag line is making rapid progress, the state government has also been pursuing a direct rail line between Dehradun and Saharanpur as well as doubling of Dehradun-Haridwar Railway tracks. A direct rail link between Dehradun and Saharanpur can save a lot of time between Dehradun and other parts of the country and reduce travel time between Dehradun and New Delhi to less than four hours. There has also been a persistent demand to launch a daily express train between Dehradun and Mumbai. At present, there is only one train between the two stations and it takes more than two nights for that train to cover the distance. Work is also underway on some railway projects in Kumaon including the Tanakpur railway line.