Two major companies have submitted a proposal to produce 100 new-generation aluminium Vande Bharat trains in India. The two firms – French major Alstom and Hyderabad-based Medha Servo Drives Private Limited in alliance with Swiss major Stadler, have submitted bids for the Rs 30,000-crore contract to manufacture the country’s first semi-high-speed trains.
Details of contract:-
The winner of the contract will be decided after a proper evaluation of the technical bids and the financial bids. The railways have invited the tender to manufacture 100 blue and white colour trains and also to maintain the trainsets for the next 35 years. This also includes the upgradation of government manufacturing units and trainset depots. The winners of the contract will get a payment of Rs 13,000 crore on delivery and the remaining amount after a period of 35 years.
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Only two companies, Alstom and Medha, in partnership with a swiss major have submitted the bids, which shows the lack of expertise in the country to make aluminium trains.
Where to manufacture
These 100 aluminium trainsets will be manufactured in Sonipat. The trains will be lighter than traditional steel-made trains and more energy efficient.
Alstom is a french mobility company and one of the biggest train manufacturers in the world with a significant footprint in India. Last year, it has won the contract to design, manufacture, supply, test, and commission 312 standard gauge metro cars for the Delhi Metro
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About Medha Servo Drives Private Limited
Medha is the vendor of the electrical systems, mainly the propulsion system, of the present batch of Vande Bharat trainsets. The Hyderabad-based firm has no prior experience in manufacturing aluminium trains. This is why it has partnered with the Swiss Major Stadler.
Govt. plans on Vande Bharat
The contract for 100 aluminium trainsets is a part of the government’s plans to roll out more than 400 blue and white colour trains in the next few years. The Ministry of Railways is planning to roll out the first sleeper version of the semi-high-speed train by the first quarter of 2024.
After the successful operation of 10 Vande Bharat trains in India, the government wants to ramp up production. For this, from FY 2023-24, these trains will be manufactured in three more factories – Haryana’s Sonipat, Maharashtra’s Latur, and Uttar Pradesh’s Rae Bareilly. Presently, only Chennai-based Integral Coach Factory (ICF) manufactures the trainsets.