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Indian Railways floats tender for 58 Vande Bharat train sets

Monday, 30 Aug 2021
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The Indian Railways has floated a tender for 58 Vande Bharat train sets after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced in his Independence Day speech that 75 such trains will be launched in 75 weeks of Azadika Amrit Mahotsav to connect different parts of the country. At present, two such Shatabdi-type semi high-speed trains are in operation. 
The new coaches will be manufactured at the Integral Coach Factory, Chennai; Modern Coach Factory, Rae Bareilly and Rail Coach Factory, Kapurthala.
As per the current plan, 30 rakes are to be manufactured at ICF Chennai and 14 each at MCF and RCF. 
The closing date for the tender is 20 October 2021. A pre-bid meeting will be held on 21 September 2021 with the cut-off date for the submission of pre-bid queries being 14 September 2021. 
The tender floated on 28 August 2021 has invited bids for the design, development, manufacturing, integration and testing of traction propulsion electrics for 58 rakes of Vande Bharat trains. 
The Indian Railways had in September 2020 floated a revised tender for procuring 44 semi high-speed Vande Bharat trains, mandating 75 percent domestic component, making it a domestic tender. 
That followed the government scrapping three global tenders for the ambitious project. With the latest tender, 102 such trains will be delivered to the Railways by March 2024. 
A total of 75 of them will be available by 15 August 2023 itself. The next lot of Vande Bharat trains with upgraded amenities, better seating space, security and surveillance systems and features designed for emergencies, is expected to be commercially available from June 2022 onward. 
The new passenger amenities and features planned to be added include four emergency windows for easy evacuation, backup disaster lights in all coaches and emergency push buttons increased to four per coach. 
It will also have a centralised coach monitoring system for all electrical, climate control and functioning of other vital systems of the train. 
An important upgrade in the new coaches will also include the pushback arrangement for reclining of seats. In the first two rakes of the Vande Bharat trains, issues regarding the seating comfort level had been raised. The first prototype will be out by March-April 2022.
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