Indian Railways plans to introduce the country's first semi-high-speed freight train by December 2022. 


  • The semi-high-speed freight train is called the Gati Shakti train and is based on the Vande Bharat platform. 
  • This is part of the PM Gati Shakti– National Master Plan for Multi Modal connectivity.
  • Similar to the Vande Bharat train, these trains will also have 16 coaches and can run at a speed of 160 kmph. 
  • These will be manufactured by the Integrated Coach Factory (ICF) Chennai. 
  • The Gati Shakti train is targeted at the e-commerce and courier package segments. According to the Government of India's India Brand Equity Fund, "India's e-commerce market is projected to reach US $ 111 billion by 2024, US $ 200 billion by 2026 and US $ 350 billion by 2030." 
  • Railways plans to capture the small size parcel shipments by running dedicated high speed freight trains.
  •  Each train has the first and last refrigerated cars  to carry fresh food such as fruits and vegetables. 
  • As per the National Rail Plan, Railways aims to increase its share of freight transport from the current 27% to 45% by 2030 through better infrastructure and business development plans. 

 Vande Bharat Trains or Train 18

  • These are semi-high speed intercity train designed, and manufactured by Integral Coach Factory in Chennai, Perambur. 
  • The train consists of an aluminum body. 
  • It travels at  160 km / h. 
  • The first train ran on the route between New Delhi and Varanasi on February 15, 2019, and the second train is from New Delhi to Katra.  
  • The Prime Minister has set a goal of deploying Vande Bharat trains on at least 75 routes by  August 15, 2023. 
  • In the Union Budget for 2022-2023, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman proposed that 400 new Vande Bharat trains be developed and manufactured over the next three years.

PM Gati Shakti– National Master Plan for Multi Modal connectivity

  • PM GatiShakti National Master Plan (PMGS-NMP) was launched on 13th October 2021 for providing multimodal connectivity infrastructure to various economic zones. 
  • PM GatiShakti is a transformative approach for economic growth and sustainable development. The approach is driven by 7 engines, namely:
  1. Railways
  2. Roads
  3. Ports
  4. Waterways
  5. Airports
  6. Mass Transport
  7. Logistics Infrastructure
  • All 7 engines will pull forward the economy in unison. These engines are supported by the complementary roles of Energy Transmission, IT Communication, Bulk Water & Sewerage, and Social Infrastructure. 
  • The approach is powered by Clean Energy and Sabka Prayas – the efforts of the Central Government, the state governments, and the private sector together – leading to huge job and entrepreneurial opportunities for all, especially the youth.


  • PM Gati Shakti will incorporate the infrastructure schemes of various Ministries and State Governments like Bharatmala, Sagarmala, inland waterways, dry/land ports, UDAN etc. Economic Zones like textile clusters, pharmaceutical clusters, defence corridors, electronic parks, industrial corridors, fishing clusters, agri zones will be covered to improve connectivity & make Indian businesses more competitive. 
  • It will also leverage technology extensively including spatial planning tools with ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation) imagery developed by BiSAG-N (Bhaskaracharya National Institute for Space Applications and Geoinformatics).

Pillars of PM-Gati Shakti

  • Comprehensiveness: It will include all the existing and planned initiatives of various Ministries and Departments with one centralized portal. Each and every Department will now have visibility of each other's activities providing critical data while planning & execution of projects in a comprehensive manner.
  • Prioritization: Through this, different Departments will be able to prioritize their projects through cross-sectoral interactions.
  • Optimization: The National Master Plan will assist different ministries in planning for projects after identification of critical gaps. For the transportation of the goods from one place to another, the plan will help in selecting the most optimum route in terms of time and cost.
  • Synchronization: Individual Ministries and Departments often work in silos. There is lack of coordination in planning and implementation of the project resulting in delays. PM Gati Shakti will help in synchronizing the activities of each department, as well as of different layers of governance, in a holistic manner by ensuring coordination of work between them.
  • Analytical: The plan will provide the entire data at one place with GIS based spatial planning and analytical tools having 200+ layers, enabling better visibility to the executing agency.

Dynamic: All Ministries and Departments will now be able to visualize, review and monitor the progress of cross-sectoral projects, through the GIS platform, as the satellite imagery will give on-ground progress periodically and progress of the projects will be updated on a regular basis on the portal. It will help in identifying the vital interventions for enhancing and updating the master plan.