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BHEL among 5 bidders for Rs 58,000 cr deal to manufacture and maintain 200 Vande Bharat trains

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  • A total of ₹32,000 crore will be paid to the winning bidder over a period of 35 years for the maintenance of these trains.
  • The financial bids will be opened in the next 45 days.
  • The of the Bharat trains are expected to be a major upgrade to the premium Rajdhani Express service.


The state-run Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL) has formed a consortium with Titagarh chariots and is one of the five entities that have bid for the ₹58,000 crore mega contract to manufacture 200 Vande Bharat trains and maintain them for the next 35 years.

Other players in the fray include the French railway company Alstom; Medha-Stadler consortium between Swiss manufacturer of railway rolling stock City track and Hyderabad-based Media Servo Drives; Siemens together with BEML and Russian manufacturer of rolling stock Transmashholding (TMH) together with an Indian company.

Officials said that while ₹26,000 crore is the upfront payment on the delivery of the trains, ₹32,000 crore will be paid to the winning bidder over a period of 35 years for the maintenance of these trains.

The Indian Railways is now evaluating technical bids for the contract. The financial bids will be opened in the next 45 days.

According to the tender document, the successful bidder must produce a prototype sleeper class for Vande Bharat trains within 24 months.

The Indian Railways aims to roll out the first sleeper version of the Vande Bharat train by the first quarter of 2024. So far, the railways have awarded contracts for the manufacture of 102 Vande Bharat trains, all of them chair coaches.

The Vande Bharat trains are expected to be a major upgrade to the premium Rajdhani Express service. The sleeper class version of these trains will be deployed on the routes to cover overnight train journeys such as New Delhi-Patna, New Delhi-Lucknow and others.

After four years of intensive work and planning, the country’s first and second Vande Bharat trains were flagged as semi-high speed electric multiple units by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2019 on New Delhi-Varanasi and New Delhi-Katra routes in J&K.

The first VB train was on the New Delhi-Varanasi route and the second on the New Dehi-Katra route to provide rapid rail transport from the national capital to these pilgrimage cities.

The Ministry of Railways is also working on exporting these trains by 2026 to cover the international markets of South Africa and European countries.

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