BHEL to bid for 58,000 crore contract to manufacture, maintain Vande Bharat trains

Published on Dec 02, 2022 10:05 AM IST

The contract is for 35 years and under it, the bid winner will have 24 months to produce a prototype of the sleeper class of Vande Bharat trains.

The Vande Bharat Express (Image only for representation)
The Vande Bharat Express (Image only for representation)
By, New Delhi

Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) has entered the race for a mega 58,000 crore contract to manufacture and maintain as many as 200 Vande Bharat trains for the next 235 years.

Also Read: Karnataka may get Vande Bharat on Hubbali-Bengaluru route

To this end, tbe central public sector undertaking has formed a consortium with Titagarh Wagons, a Kolkata-based railway wagon manufacturer. Also, with BHEL's entry, as many as five entities are in the fray to win the contract. The other four are: French railway major Alstom; Medha-Stadler (consortium between Switzerland's Stadler Rail, and Hyderabad-based Media Servo Dives); Germany's Siemens, and Bharat Earth Movers Limited (BEML); and Russia's Transmashholding which has partnered with an unnamed Indian firm.

Meanwhile, the 58,000 crore deal is divided into two parts: a 26,000 crore upfront payment on the delivery of the trains, while the rest 32,000 crore will be paid to the bid winner over a period of 35 years, for the maintenance of these trains.

Also Read: PM Modi flags off Chennai-Mysuru Vande Bharat, South's 1st

The bids will open within the next forty-five days. According to the tender document, the winner will have twenty-four months to produce a prototype of the sleeper class of Vande Bharat trains; the Indian Railways is targeting to roll out the first Vande Bharat with a sleeper class by the first quarter of 2024. At present, these have only chair cars.

A semi-high-speed, electrical multiple unit (EMU) operated by the Railways, Vande Bharat began its journey in February 2019, when the first train – between New Delhi and Varanasi – was launched. Subsequently, services commenced on four other routes : New Delhi-Katra (October 2019), Mumbai Central- Gandhinagar (September 2022), New Delhi-Amb Andaura (October 2022), and Chennai Central-Mysuru (November 2022).

More such services are in the pipeline.

(With PTI inputs)

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