The Railway Ministry on Friday began the bidding process for 44 train sets to run as the luxurious Vande Bharat Express. Train 18, which was launched last year as the first Vanda Bharat, was built by the Integral Coach Factory (ICF), Chennai. Currently, there are two semi-high speed Vande Bharat trains running between New Delhi and Varanasi and between New Delhi and Katra.
Indian Railways has plans to introduce 44 more such trains and has started the bidding process for this. As part of the financial bidding process, six large companies have submitted their bids.
Tender has been floated to purchase propulsion system or electric traction kit for 44 trains to act as Vande Bharat Express or Train 18.
Indigenously built Train 18 was launched at a cost of Rs 100 crore, out of which Rs 35 crore was for the propulsion system alone. The report said that the price of this tender or 44 kits would be more than Rs 1,500 crore.
Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited, New Delhi; Bharat Industries, Sangrur; CRRC Pioneer Electric India Private Limited, Rewari; ElectroWaves Electronics Private Limited, Parwanoo; Medha Servo Drive Private Limited, Hyderabad and Powernetics Equipment Private Limited, Navi Mumbai have shown interest in the proposal.
One of the companies that have shown interest is the Chinese connection. According to reports, CRRC Corporation is a joint venture between the Chinese state-owned CRRC Corporation and the Gurugram-based company with its office in Rewari, Haryana.
Earlier on 1 January, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal had said that the Railway Ministry would buy 44 rakes of Vande India.
“Dedicated to providing excellent transport facility to passengers, Railways will now purchase 44 rakes of Vande Bharat Express. This rake will be built under Make in India and equipped with modern facilities like automatic doors, coach display, luggage rack, LED, mobile charging Bindu, CCTV and time will also be saved, ”Goyal said.