Alstom, Siemens and Medha are among the five consortium bidders who have shown interest in manufacturing 200 Vande Bharat trains.
After three extensions of final bid submission dates, Indian Railways opened the bids on 30 November.
Besides, Alstom entering the race alone, Medha has joined hands with Straddler, Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) with Titagarh Wagon, TMH (Russian company) with Rail Vikas Nigam Limited (RVNL), a railway PSU, and Siemens with BEML to form the consortiums for bidding of the Rs 26,000 crore project.
According to the Railways, two lowest bidders would be selected for awarding the contract to produce 200 Vande Bharat train sets.
It is estimated to cost Rs 130 crore for manufacturing a 16-coach Vande Bharat train. There is a provision for increasing the number of coaches to 20 if the demand grows for a particular section.
While the lowest one would be manufacturing 120 Vande Bharat trains, the second lowest would be producing 80 trains. It would take about 24 months to produce the first prototype after the award of the contract.
Now the tender committee would carry out technical evaluation of each bid which would be followed by opening of the financial bids.
Till now the Railways has awarded a contract for manufacturing of 102 Vande Bharat trains with seating arrangement. However, in the current project, the manufacturers are being given options to make Vande Bharat trains either with seating or sleeper facilities.
The design for sleeper is different from the existing Vande Bharat trains as there would be three toilets in each coach instead of two now. The water tank would be 2,000 litre capacity as against 1,880 litre in the existing Vande Bharat train.
Berth pattern would be changed to make it sleeper class with arrangement for curtains, pantry cars and matching lighting system.
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