Evincing interest in the most ambitious initiative of the Railways, Bombardier, Siemens and BHEL among nine players have submitted bids for providing propulsion electrics for the manufacturing of 58 Vande Bharat trains at an estimated cost of Rs 2,500 crore.
After Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Independence Day announcement last year, the Railways floated a second tender for 58 Vande Bharat train sets in order to roll out 75 such trains during the 75 weeks of “Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav”.
Earlier last year, the Railways awarded the contracts to Medha for manufacturing 44 Vande Bharat trains at Integral Coach Facory ICF. The contract includes designing and manufacturing propulsion, control and other equipment for making 44 rakes of Vande Bharat train sets.
CG Power, Medha, Electrowave Electronics, Hind Rectifiers, Saini Electricals and Titagarh Wagons are other players who have submitted their bids for manufacturing of 58 Vande Bharat trains.
Currently the bids are being technically evaluated and it would take about a month to complete the process, said a senior Railway Ministry official.
58 Vande Bharat rakes are expected to have upgraded amenities as well as better seating, security, and surveillance systems. 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.
The coaches will also have a centralised coach monitoring system for all electrical, climate control, and other vital functions of the train set. An important upgrade in the new coaches will be a “pushback arrangement” for better reclining of seats.
The first prototype of Vande Bharat manufactured by Medha is expected to arrive by early May this year. Thereafter, on successful commissioning, the firm will be delivering an average of six rakes per quarter.
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