India to have ‘tilting trains’ by 2026 to help maintain speed on curves

The Indian Railways plans to introduce ‘tilting trains’ by 2026 with an aim to maintain higher speed on curvy stretches, railways officials said. According to the officials, 100 new units of the semi-high speed Vande Bharat trains are being manufactured using this technology.

Around 100 Vande Bharat trains will be equipped with this technology by 2024. These trains with sleeper coaches will be operational by the first quarter of 2024.

How does a tilting train work?
A tilting train is a train that has a mechanism enabling increased speed on regular rail tracks. As a train (or other vehicle) rounds a curve at speed, objects inside the train experience centrifugal force. This can cause packages to slide about or seated passengers to feel squashed by the outboard armrest, and standing passengers to lose their balance. Tilting trains are designed to counteract this by tilting the carriages towards the inside of the curve, thus compensating for the g-force. The train may be constructed such that inertial forces cause the tilting (passive tilt), or it may have a computer-controlled powered mechanism (active tilt).