Some months back, it was decided by the national transporter that three manufacturing units will manufacture these trains.
Vande Bharat Express: Indian Railways moves to speed up the production of 44 Vande Bharat Express trains! Railway Board Chairman VK Yadav has said that the ‘Make in India’ train sets will now be manufactured by not one but three units of Indian Railways – Integral Coach Factory in Chennai, Railway Coach Factory in Kapurthala and Modern Coach Factory in Rae Bareilly. As many as 44 Vande Bharat trains will be added on the Indian Railways network within the next three years, according to a PTI report. Yadav was quoted as saying that some months back, it was decided by the national transporter that the three manufacturing units will manufacture these trains. Therefore, this will reduce the time taken to roll out the trains by one-third.
The 44 Train 18 services will start operating in the next two to three years. A definite timeline will be made available, once the tender is finalized, Yadav said. The Integral Coach Factory (ICF), in a letter dated July 14, informed the Railway Board that as per the estimates, it would take a period of 28 months to introduce the prototype rakes into commercial service. Besides, it will take an additional time period of six months to start the series production, as well as subsequently 78 months of time to complete the production of 44 trains, ICF reportedly said. The railway manufacturing unit in Chennai has manufactured the first two Vande Bharat Express trains.
However, according to Yadav, these were internal communications within Indian Railways. Since now it has been decided that the three units of Indian Railways are going to manufacture the Train 18 rakes, the roll out would be faster. According to the report, the production of the Vande Bharat trains has been mired in controversy even as the first Train 18 was rolled out in record time of 18 months by ICF.
Recently, for Indian Railways’ global tender for its ambitious semi-high speed Vande Bharat Express project, CRRC Corporation, a Chinese state-owned rolling stock major, emerged as the only foreign player to bid. However, the bid from CRRC is likely to be scrapped. The company under the name CRRC Pioneer Electric (India) Private Limited, had entered into a joint venture with a Gurugram-based company to place its bid. For the tender for procuring propulsion systems or electric traction kits for 44 Vande Bharat trains, CRRC is one of the six contenders.
According to officials, Rs 100 crore was spent to manufacture the first Train 18, of which Rs 35 crore was alone for the propulsion system. The current tender for as many as 44 such kits would be worth over Rs 1,500 crore, they said.