According to Railway officials, Indian Railways has been receiving inquiries regarding the export of its flagship Vande Bharat locomotives. Presently, there have been inquiries from Chile, but as of now, these discussions have not progressed into confirmed orders.
As per BusinessLine, the official stated, “At the moment, Chile has shown a certain level of interest in the Vande Bharat designs. However, these inquiries have been quite general. It will be a while before these expressions of interest turn into a concrete order,”
The official further added, “It is encouraging to witness global interest in these indigenous designs now.”
India is making efforts to promote its premier Vande Bharat locomotives as a significant export product.
The primary target markets have been Latin American and African countries, particularly those where there is a demand for electric locomotives.
Moreover, at present, the focus continues to be serving the domestic market prior to making design alterations aimed at international markets.
Further, the availability of a manufacturing facility is also being taken into account.
The existing Vande Bharat trains are suitable for broad gauge, it may be necessary for the Railways to modify these trains to operate on the standard gauges prevalent in numerous countries worldwide.
The production expense for a Vande Bharat train with 16 coaches is approximately Rs 130 crore.
The export division of Indian Railways, had previously obtained export orders for rolling stock worth Rs 2,100 crore.
This includes orders from Sri Lanka valued at Rs 1,400 crore. Another order worth Rs 700 crore for customised cape-gauge diesel locomotives is currently in progress for Mozambique.
The Sri Lanka order included eight DMUs (diesel multiple units), 10 broad gauge locomotives, and 160 coaches.
Meanwhile, the Mozambique order contained six cape gauge electric locomotives and 100 cape gauge passenger coaches, 30 of which were DEMU’s coaches.
The official also mentioned that India is aspiring to become an exporter of forged wheels within the next three to five years.
The joint venture between Ramkrishna Forgings and Titagarh Wagons to establish a manufacturing facility capable of producing 228,000 wheels annually is progressing as planned. Ministry reviews indicate that construction should commence shortly.
At present, India imports a variety of forged wheels from several countries including the UK, Brazil, China, Japan, Russia, and Ukraine, resulting in an import bill of approximately Rs 520 crore.