Railways float tender for 58 new Vande Bharat trains, aims to deliver 102 trains by 2024
The Indian Railways has floated a tender for the production of 58 new Vande Bharat trains and aims to deliver 75 trains by August 23 next year, according to officials aware of the development.
“With the tender for 44 Vande Bharat rakes earlier this year and the 58 new rakes we will have 102 Vande Bharat trains ready by 2024,” a ministry official said. HT has reviewed a copy of the tender.
This comes in the backdrop of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Independence Day announcement of rolling out 75 new Vande Bharat Express trains that will be launched to connect different parts of the country in 75 weeks to mark the ongoing “Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav”.
These trains will be manufactured in Integral Coach Factory, Chennai, Modern Coach Factory, Rae Bareilly and Rail Coach Factory, Kapurthala. The closing date for the tender is on October 20, 2021. A pre-bid meeting will be held on September 21 with the cut-off date for submission of pre-bid queries on September 14, 2021.
The tender floated on August 28, invited bids for the design, development, manufacture, integration and testing of traction propulsion electrics for the manufacture of 58 rakes of Vande Bharat trains.
The Indian Railways in September last year floated a revised tender for procuring 44 semi-high speed Vande Bharat trains mandating 75% domestic components, making it a domestic tender.
HT on August 20 reported that the next lot of Vande Bharat rakes with upgraded amenities as well as better seating, security, and surveillance systems along with features designed for emergencies is expected to be commercially available from June 2022 onwards.
“The first prototype rake is tentatively planned to be dispatched in March 2022, which will be put to commercial service tentatively by June 2022,” a senior official said.
Some of the new amenities/safety features planned to be added include four emergency windows for easy evacuation of passengers in case of an emergency; disaster lights in all coaches, to be used in the event of failure of all other lights in a disaster situation; more emergency push buttons (four per coach).
The coaches will also have a centralized coach monitoring system for all electrical, climate control, and other vital functions of the train set. An important upgrade in the new coaches will be a “pushback arrangement” for better reclining of seats. In the first two rakes of the Vande Bharat trains, issues regarding the seating comfort level were raised.
PM Modi flagged off the maiden run of a Vande Bharat train on the New Delhi-Varanasi route on February 15, 2019. The second such train service between New Delhi and Shri Mata Vaishnodevi Katra was flagged off by home minister Amit Shah on October 3 that year.