New Design For Vande Bharat Sleeper Trains Proposed By Kinet, Russian TMH-RVNL SPV Set Up For Coach Manufacturing


Indian Railways, on 27 September, signed the manufacturing-cum-maintenance agreement (MCMA) with the Russian rolling stock giant TMH for manufacturing of the long-awaited sleeper edition Vande Bharat train.

The agreement for 120 trains entails creation of a special purpose vehicle ‘Kinet Railway Solutions Limited’ — which will manufacture, supply and maintain Vande Bharat trainsets operated by Indian Railways.

Kinet Railway Solutions Ltd is a joint venture between TMH, Rail Vikas Nigam Limited (RVNL) and Locomotive Electronic Systems (LES), a Russian equipment supplier.

The special purpose vehicle has proposed a a brand new design concept for Sleeper Vande Bharat trains.

The design includes an image of a lion embossed in a multi-colour scheme, a different version from the design finalised by the Integral Coach Factory (ICF).

Besides the new colour scheme, the interior design of the sleeper Vande Bharat trains is also different from the ICF-built train.

The proposed design envisages an image of a lion — powerful, remarkable, fast — at the heart of the new livery. The interior has also been designed to reflect a calm and elegant look.

The first prototype of sleeper Vande Bharat is expected to be ready in 2025.

Though BEML is producing the first sleeper Vande Bharat trainset for ICF, Kinet is free to design its own sleeper design.

Indian Railways and Kinet Railway Solutions signed the MCMA for the project. Kinet will be supplying 120 Vande Bharat electric passenger sleeper trainsets within the stipulated time frame and will also be running maintenance services of these train sets for 35 years.

The shareholder agreement for the joint venture was already signed for the manufacture of sleeper-class Vande Bharat trains.

According to the shareholding pattern, TMH subsidiary-Metrowagonmash has 70 per cent, RVNL has 25 per cent and LES has 5 per cent shares in the joint venture.

The Railways has awarded a contract for manufacturing of 200 sleeper Vande Bharat trains out of which TMH-RVNL will make 120 and Titagarh-BHEL will make 80 such trains. The consortium of TMH-RVNL would manufacture 120 Vande Bharat trains at the railway facilities at Latur.

Currently, the Vande Bharat trains with seating facilities are being produced at ICF. There will be no Vande Bharat trains with seating facility after 75 of such trains.

ICF had given the order for manufacturing of 10 Vande Bharat trains with sleeper facilities to the state-owned BEML.

However, the Railways maintains that the design for sleeper Vande Bharat finalised by BEML will not be binding for the TMH-RVNL consortium. They can have their own design if they want. But these designs are to be approved by the RDSO.

The Vande Bharat sleeper train is expected to be of superior quality as compared to Rajdhani trains in terms of features, average speed, and maintenance.

According to the Railways, the new sleeper variant of the Vande Bharat Express, promises faster and more comfortable overnight travel for passengers.