The Railways will invite bids this month from top foreign and domestic vendors for a Rs 20,000 crore joint venture project to manufacture around 5,000 electric coaches that will have modern facilities and run faster than existing ones.
The stainless steel AC and non AC coaches will be equipped with automatic doors, forced ventilation system, bio-toilets, and a regenerative braking system that saves power, besides boasting of better interior design.
Known as Electric Multiple Unit and Mainline Electric Multiple Units, these coaches run without a traditional locomotive and are used generally on local routes. With the modern coaches, the Railways is looking to ensure that local and mainline train services become faster and more comfortable.
In June last year, the Railways had started the process of sounding out potential bidders for the manufacturing around 500 such coaches over the next 10 years in a joint venture model at the proposed Kanchrapara rail factory in West Bengal.
Vendors like Bombardier (Canada), Siemens consortium (Germany), Alstom (France), CRRC Corporation consortium (China), Stadler (Switzerland), Medha consortium (India),and BHEL, an Indian PSU, have made the cut to qualify for the bidding process.
The public transporter will have a 26% stake in the joint venture project.
“We will issue the request for proposal this month for the Kanchrapara coach factory in Bengal,” said a senior Railway Ministry official.