New Delhi, India (Urban Transport News): On the occasion of India's 75th Independence Day celebrations, Prime Minister Modi announced the plan to introduce 75 more Semi High-Speed Vande Bharat trains in 75 weeks to connect different parts of the country.
Following his speech, 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 August 23 next year. The tender notice was issued on August 28, 2021, where Indian Railways has invited bids for the design, development, manufacture, integration and testing of traction propulsion electrics for the manufacture of 58 rakes of Vande Bharat trains.
According to plan, these trains will be manufactured in Integral Coach Factory, Chennai, Modern Coach Factory, Rae Bareilly and Rail Coach Factory, Kapurthala. The closing date for the tender is on October 20, 2021. A pre-bid meeting will be held on September 21, 2021, with the cut-off date for submission of pre-bid queries on September 14, 2021. Out of the 58 rakes of 16-car composition, 30 would be rolled out from the ICF, Chennai, 14 from the Modern Coach Factory, Raebareli and 14 from the Rail Coach Factory, Kapurthala.
"102 Vande Bharat trains would be commissioned by early 2024. The Train18, later named Vande Bharat Express, was rolled out by the Integral Coach Factory, Chennai. It was showcased as India’s first semi high-speed train with the operational efficiency of 160 kmph and a game-changer," said Railway Officials.
“The first prototype rake is tentatively planned to be dispatched in March 2022, which will be put to commercial service tentatively by June 2022,” said a senior official.
In new trains, some of the new amenities/safety features planned to be added include four emergency windows for easy evacuation of passengers in case of an emergency; disaster lights in all coaches, to be used in the event of failure of all other lights in a disaster situation; more emergency push buttons (four per coach).
The Indian Railways in September last year floated a revised tender for the 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.