In particular on Central Railway (CR), where flooding is observed in low-lying portions of railway lines and it is difficult to climb and descend the high mountain ranges of the Sahyadri ghats at Khandala and Igatpuri, this monsoon may serve as a litmus test for the renowned Vande Bharat Express trains. Critics have expressed concerns about water-logging because of the underslung motors’ proximity to the wheelbase.
In the rain, navigating steep slopes without banking engines could be difficult. However, railway authorities insisted that they were adequately equipped to handle the difficulties and that there would be few issues with the rakes and their upkeep. Currently, Maharashtra operates four Vande Bharat Express trains, three of which originate in the city of Mumbai: the trains to Gandhinagar, Solapur, and Sainagar Shirdi. The train between Nagpur and Bilaspur is the fourth. On September 30, 2022, Maharashtra received the first Vande Bharat train, which ran between Mumbai and Gandhinagar.
Two Vande Bharat trains departing from Mumbai each go via the Khandala Ghat on their way to Solapur through Pune and the Igatpuri Ghat on their way to Shirdi via Nashik. On February 10, Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave the go-ahead for these Vande Bharat Express trains, the first in the 150-year history of Indian Railways to ascend two separate ghat sections without the use of any banking locomotives and with the nation’s steepest gradient of 1:37, or a one-meter rise every 37 meters.
Source- mid day