Home / News / India /  BHEL bids for 58,000 cr deal to manufacture, maintain 200 Vande Bharat trains

Amid bidding for the mega 58,000 crore contract to manufacture 200 Vande Bharat trains and maintaining them for the next 35 years, public service undertaking Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL) has recently formed a consortium with Titagarh Wagons.

Apart from BHEL, other players in the fray for the bid include French railway major Alstom; Medha-Stadler consortium between Swiss railway rolling stock manufacturer Stadler Rail and Hyderabad-based Media Servo Drives; Siemens along with BEML, and Russian rolling stock manufacturer Transmashholding (TMH) along with an Indian firm, reported news agency PTI on 1 December.

While 26,000 crore is the upfront payment on the delivery of the trains, 32,000 crore will be paid to the winning bidder over a period of 35 years for the maintenance of these trains, said the officials.

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Currently, the Indian Railways is evaluating technical bids for the contract, while the financial bids will be opened in the next 45 days.

According to the tender document, the successful bidder has to produce a prototype of the sleeper class for Vande Bharat trains within 24 months.

As per details, the Railways is targeting to roll out the first sleeper version of Vande Bharat train by the first quarter of 2024. Until now, contracts were awarded for manufacture of 102 Vande Bharat trains which are all chair car.

Expectations are making the rounds that the Vande Bharat trains to be a big upgrade from the premium Rajdhani Express service. These sleeper class-version of these trains will be run on the routes to cover overnight rail journey like New Delhi-Patna, New Delhi-Lucknow and others.

Earlier, country's first and the second Vande Bharat trains as electric multiple units at semi-high speed, were flagged off by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2019 on the New Delhi-Varanasi and New Delhi-Katra in J&K routes.

The first VB train was flagged on the New Delhi-Varanasi route and the second one was on New Dehi-Katra route to provide fast rail transportation from the national capital to these pilgrim cities.

Meanwhile, the railway ministry is also working towards exporting these trains by 2026 to cover the international markets of South Africa and European countries.

With PTI inputs.

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