The Indian Railways plans to launch 44 semi high-speed trains and has started the bidding process for the electric traction kits for 44 train sets of luxurious Vande Bharat Express.
Train 18, which was launched last year as the first Vande Bharat, was made by the Integral Coach Factory (ICF), Chennai. Currently, there are two semi-high speed Vande Bharat trains, running runs between New Delhi and Varanasi, and between New Delhi and Katra.
The Indian Railways plans to launch 44 more such trains and has started bidding process for the same. Under the financial bidding process, six big companies including BHEL have submitted their bids.
The tender has been issued for procuring propulsion systems or electric traction kits for 44 trains to function as the Vande Bharat Express or Train 18.
Officials said going by the cost of manufacturing the first Train 18 which was launched last year at an expense of Rs 100 crore out of which Rs 35 crore was for the propulsion system alone, the present tender for 44 such kits would be worth over Rs 1,500 crore. “We have got bids from six players for the train set tender,” said Vinod Kumar Yadav, chairman of the Railway Board.
Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd, New Delhi; Bharat Industries, Sangrur; CRRC Pioneer Electric India Pvt Ltd, Rewari; Electrowaves Electronics Pvt Ltd, Parwanoo; Medha Servo Drives Pvt Ltd, Hyderabad, and Powernetics Equipment Pvt Ltd, Navi Mumbai have shown interest in the proposal.
One of the companies that have shown interest has a Chinese connection. According to reports, CRRC Corporation with its office in Rewari, Haryana is a joint venture between Chinese state-owned CRRC Corporation and a Gurugram-based company.
Earlier on January 1, Railways Minister Piyush Goyal had said “Dedicated to providing excellent transport facilities to passengers, the Railways will now purchase 44 rakes of Vande Bharat Express. This rake will be made under Make in India and equipped with modern facilities like automatic doors, coach display, luggage rack, LED, mobile charging point, CCTV and will also save time.