Stakeholders demand maintenance clause to reduce Vande Bharat tender from 35 to 15 years

Reduced maintenance period from 35 years to 15 years, more incentives to opt for lightweight aluminum car and enough time to design Sleeper car for Vande Bharat trains are some of the demands raised by stakeholders during the pre-tender meeting held recently for the manufacture of 200 semi-high-speed trainsets.

All major rolling stock players including Titagarh, Siemens, Alstom, BHEL, Medha, Straddler among others participated in the pre-tender meeting.

According to the railways, there were hundreds of queries from potential bidders on the various clauses of the tender for the manufacture of 200 Vande Bharat trains with sleeper facilities.

So far, the railways have awarded contracts for the manufacture of 102 Vande Bharat trains with seats.

Previously, Vande Bharat train had both chair car and executive class facilities, but the latest tender by the railways was for new age Vande Bharat with sleeper facilities.

While many participants said the 35-year maintenance clause was too long and called for it to be reduced to 15 years. Some also requested more time than the prescribed 22 months to complete a redesign of the Vande Bharat trainset with Sleeper facilities.

The railways have given the option of opting for stainless steel or lightweight aluminum for the manufacture of Vande Bharat coaches.

However, the railways’ offer of an Rs 6 lakh incentive for aluminum coaches is considered too low and stakeholders are demanding that it be raised to Rs 22 lakh per tonne per train.

The railways have issued tenders for the manufacture of 200 Vande Bharat with Sleeper facilities in Latur and Chennai. While the Chennai Integral Coach Factory would be responsible for manufacturing 120 Vande Bharat trains, the production of 80 Vande Bharat trainsets would be entrusted to the Latur factory.

The railways would give Rs 30 crore to Latur and Rs 75 crore to ICF for the civil works needed to manufacture medium-speed trains.

Potential bidders also wanted to know the roadmap of the facilities developed in Latur and Chennai after the completion of the contract.

Read also : With 75 Vande Bharat trains likely to operate by August 2023, Indian Railways plans to double the capacity of overhead power lines

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