Sources told TOI that Indian Railways is looking to ramp up the production of Vande Bharat Express trains by winning this contract. The current technology used for production Vande Bharat trains it will be used by the new manufacturer. The sleeper version of the Vande Bharat train is in the planning stages and this contract will help to ramp up their production, the sources said.
TMH and RVNL of Russia had estimated a cost of Rs 120 crore per train set for production. This is less than Rs 128 crore per Vande Bharat train manufactured by ICF.
Vande Bharat Aluminum Trains Will Change The Face Of Indian Railways At 200km/h Speed
Indian Railways had qualified technical bids from five players for the Rs 58,000 crore project; BEML-Siemens, BHEL-Titagarh, Alstom, Stadler-Medha and Russian TMH with RVNL. The lowest bidder is to produce and maintain 120 Vande Bharat sleeping trains, while the second lowest bidder will have the option to match the lowest bid and produce and maintain 80 train sets.
In their current form, Vande Bharat Express trains are air-conditioned carriage services. Vande Bharat self propelled trains are capable of traveling at speeds of 160 km/h.
According to the tender documents, the Vande Bharat Express sleeping trains will offer passenger services that are “best in class” of trains running globally. The trains will be premium offerings in terms of aesthetics, functionality and comfort. Indian Railways had asked bidders to study the stainless steel LHB carriages it currently produces to ensure passenger facilities on the Vande Bharat sleeper trains are “vastly superior”.
The new Vande Bharat sleeper trains will be manufactured for a service life of 35 years and are expected to be used for medium to long distance journeys. Railway experts have stressed the need to launch Rajdhani-style variant of Vande Bharat Express as the demand for overnight travel is higher. According to railway experts, semi-high-speed trains like the Vande Bharat sleeper can help reduce the travel time between major cities to less than 12 hours.
Meanwhile, Indian Railways has separately launched a tender to produce 100 aluminum Vande Bharat trains in India, which will be a first for the railways. The technical offers for the tender have recently been presented. France’s Alstom and Swiss major Stadler in a tie-up with Medha were the only two bidders for the ambitious Rs 30,000 crore project.