New Delhi, India (Urban Transport News): On the occasion of India’s 75th Independence Day celebrations, Prime Minister Modi announced plans to introduce 75 more semi-high-speed Vande Bharat trains in 75 weeks to connect different parts of the country.
Following his speech, the Indian Railways has floated a tender for the production of 58 new semi high-speed Vande Bharat trains and aims to deliver 75 trains by 23 August next year. Tender notice was issued on August 28, 2021, where Indian Railways has invited bids for Design, Development, Manufacture, Integration and Testing of Traction Propulsion Electrics for manufacturing 58 rakes of Vande Bharat trains.
As per the plan these trains will be manufactured at Integral Coach Factory, Chennai, Modern Coach Factory, Rae Bareli and Rail Coach Factory, Kapurthala. The last date for tender is October 20, 2021. The pre-bid meeting will be held on September 21, 2021, with the cut-off date for submission of pre-bid questions being September 14, 2021. Of the 58, 16-car composition rakes, 30 will be manufactured from ICF, Chennai, 14 from Modern Coach Factory, Rae Bareli and 14 from Rail Coach Factory, Kapurthala.
“102 Vande Bharat trains will be commissioned by early 2024. Train 18, which was later named Vande Bharat Express, was commissioned by Integral Coach Factory, Chennai. It is designed with an operational efficiency of 160 kmph. Was showcased as India’s first semi high-speed train and a game-changer,” said railway officials.
“The first prototype rake is planned to be dispatched in March 2022, which will be put into commercial service tentatively by June 2022,” a senior official said.
In the new trains, there are plans to add some new features/safety features, including four emergency windows for easy evacuation of passengers in case of emergency; Disaster lights in all coaches, to be used in case of disaster with all other lights failing; More emergency push buttons (four per coach).
The Indian Railways in September last year floated a revised tender for production of 44 Vande Bharat trains, mandating 75% domestic components, making it a domestic tender. The contract was awarded to Hyderabad based firm Medha Servo Drives Pvt Ltd. Ltd.