In a groundbreaking move, the Indian Railways will implement a '14-minute clean-up' initiative for Vande Bharat trains starting from October 1, inspired by Japan's efficient bullet train cleaning system. The goal is to enhance punctuality and turnaround times significantly. This innovative approach will begin with Vande Bharat trains, involving a dedicated team of four staff members in every coach, completing the cleaning process within 14 minutes, a drastic improvement from the usual three-hour cleaning duration.
Starting from October 1, the Indian Railways is set to implement a ’14-minute clean-up’ concept for Vande Bharat trains, drawing inspiration from Japan’s bullet train model, where trains are cleaned in just seven minutes. This initiative aims to enhance punctuality and turnaround time for Vande Bharat trains, a significant departure from the usual three-hour cleaning process. Each Vande Bharat coach will be attended to by four cleaning staff, ensuring that the entire train is cleaned within 14 minutes.
The concept is based on Japan’s ‘7 minutes of miracle,’ where bullet trains are efficiently cleaned and prepared for their next journey. The goal is to improve operational efficiency and service quality. The railway minister, Ashwini Vaishnaw, highlighted that this initiative marks a unique step for the Indian Railways.
The launch of this initiative coincided with the Swachhata Hi Seva Swachhata Pakhwada campaign, which ran from September 15 to October 2. Over 200,000 people participated in various cleanliness activities, totaling 685,883 man-hours, as part of the campaign.
Union Railway Minister Vaishnaw stated that this effort would contribute to punctuality and quicker turnaround times for Vande Bharat trains. He also emphasized that the concept aligns with the ‘7 minutes of miracle’ model from Japan, showcasing the Indian Railways’ commitment to innovation and efficiency.
The initiative will kick off at the Delhi Cantonment Railway Station, with more than 29 Vande Bharat trains nationwide implementing the system simultaneously. Stations like Varanasi, Gandhinagar, Mysore, and Nagpur will also adopt the model based on the arrival schedules of Vande Bharat trains.
Currently, there are around 68 functional Vande Bharat train services across the country. The Railway Ministry has also made improvements to these premium trains, including better accessibility for wheelchair-bound passengers, increased seat reclination angles, optimized cushion hardness, accessible mobile charging points, and extended footrests in the executive class.
Regarding Vande Bharat sleeper trains, Vaishnaw announced that the first one would operate on February 6, 2024, with a prototype ready by the end of the year. The ministry is in the process of deciding the train’s color and routes, emphasizing maximum passenger convenience in all classes (AC1, AC2, AC3).