Eleven leading players, including Alstom, Medha and Siemens, are vying for a contract to manufacture 58 Vande Bharat rakes.
Alstom, Medha and Siemens are among 11 major players who had shown interest in the production of Vande Bharat trains as these leading companies participated in the pre-bid meeting for manufacturing 58 new such rakes to be delivered in the next two years from now.
BHEL, Titagarh Wagons, CAF, Crompton Greaves, Cummins and ELGI are other players who participated in the meeting.
Pushing the Vande Bharat project on fast lane, Indian Railways floated a tender last month for the design, development, manufacture, integration and testing of traction propulsion electrics for the manufacture of 58 rakes of Vande Bharat trains.
With the tender for 44 Vande Bharat rakes already floated earlier this year and now the 58 new rakes, there will be a total 102 Vande Bharat trains ready by 2024.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagged off the maiden run of a Vande Bharat train on the New Delhi-Varanasi route on 15 February 2019. The second such train service between New Delhi and Shri Mata Vaishnodevi Katra was flagged off by Home Minister Amit Shah on 3 October 2019.
The railways aims to deliver 75 trains by 23 August next year as this comes in the backdrop of Prime Minister’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 at Integral Coach Factory in Chennai, Modern Coach Factory in Rae Bareilly and Rail Coach Factory in Kapurthala.
According to the railways, the closing date for the tender is 20 October 2021.
The new Vande Bharat rakes would be rolled out with upgraded amenities as well as better seating, security, and surveillance systems along with features designed for emergencies are expected to be commercially available from June 2022 onwards.
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 and more emergency push buttons in each coach.
The coaches will also have a centralised 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.