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Five major players put bids for manufacturing 200 Vande Bharat trains

The Times of India logo The Times of India 30-11-2022 Dipak K Dash
© Provided by The Times of India

NEW DELHI: Five players including French railway major Alstom, Russia’s Tranmashholding, Medha Servo and Siemens have put their bids for manufacturing of the next set of 200 Vande Bharat trains, which will also have sleeper coaches for overnight journeys.

While the lowest bidder will get the work order to manufacture 120 of these trains, the second lowest bidder will get the order to manufacture the remaining 80 trains, officials said.

The Indian Railways on Wednesday opened the technical bids after three extensions of final bid submission dates. The cost of the project is estimated around Rs 26,000 crore.

Sources said while Alstom has put its bid as a single entity, all others have submitted their tenders after forming consortiums. Medha, which has so far got most of the orders for manufacturing of Vande Bharat trains, has joined hands with Swiss railway rolling stock manufacturer Stadler Rail. The BHEL, a major PSU, has joined hands with Titagarh Wagons.

The Russian railway major Tranmashholding has also bid for the project as a joint venture with an Indian firm. They said Siemens has also bid in a consortium with BEML.

As per the tender document, the successful bidders will have to produce the prototype of this next generation train within 24 months. Recently, railway minister Ashwini Vaishnaw had said that the government is aiming to get the first Vande Bharat train with sleeper coaches by April 2024.

Officials said since the technical bids have been received now the tender committee will complete the technical evaluation of each bid and then financial bids will be opened. This process would take around 45 days.

Till now the Indian Railways has awarded contracts for manufacturing of 102 Vande Bharat trains which have only chair cars. In this tender, the manufacturers are being given options to make Vande Bharat trains either with seating or sleeper facilities.

The design for sleeper coaches is different from the existing Vande Bharat trains as there would be four toilets in each coach and berth pattern would be changed to make it sleeper class with arrangement for curtains, pantry cars and matching lighting system.

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