The next phase of manufacturing 200 semi-high-speed Vande Bharat trains will begin with Russia's CJSC Transmashholding and Rail Vikas Nigam Limited (TMH-RVNL) consortium after they have signed a contract of Rs 58,000 crore for the construction and maintenance of trains after being emerged as the lowest bidder, the officials said.
The second-lowest bidder after the CJSC-RVNL consortium was the state-run Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL) and Titagarh Wagons consortium. It has given the lowest bid to win a part of the tender. As per the tender document, the selected bidder will manufacture sleeper versions of 16 coaches for each 200 train sets at the railway factory at Latur in Maharashtra and ICF in Chennai.
According to the conditions, 120 trains will be manufactured, supplied, and maintained by the lowest bidder (L1). These will be manufactured at the Latur facility of the Indian Railways.
The remaining 80 trains will be manufactured at the Chennai facility and given to the second lowest (L2) bidder, subject to matching the price offered by L1.
Sources told news agency PTI that a consortium of TMH and RVNL has bid at ₹120 crores per train set, which is lower than the ₹128 crores per set cost of the last Vande Bharat trains built by ICF-Chennai.
TMH-RVNL outbid BHEL-Titagarh wagons, who had quoted ₹140 crores per train set, they said, signaling that the Russian company is enthusiastic about entering the Indian market and, thus, bided less.
French railway major Alstom, Swiss railway rolling stock maker Stadler Rail, and Medha-Stadler consortium between Hyderabad-based Media Servo Drives and Siemens, along with BEML, were the other contenders in the fray for the tender.
The contract of Rs 58,000 crore is alloted to manufacture 200 Vande Bharat trains and maintain them for the next 35 years.
Senior officials said that whoever emerges as the new manufacturer will produce trains using current technology developed by the railways, railway employees, and its factories.
If the L2 bidder declines to take up the contract, it will be offered to the third lowest bidder. However, if none of the bidders is willing to match the bid formed by the L1 bidder, the whole contract will be awarded to them.
The document also states that the supplied trains will be maintained at six to eight train depots in cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Jodhpur, Hyderabad, and Kolkata.
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