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Mega-contract for 120 Vande Bharat trains goes to Russian TMH

27 April 2023
Reading time ~ 3 min
Vande Bharat EMU
Vande Bharat EMU. Source: Deccan Herald
Savenkova Ekaterina, Editorial Contributor to International Projects of ROLLINGSTOCK Agency
Reading time ~ 3 min

India: The tender of Indian Railways is over with a consortium of Metrowagonmash (part of TMH) and local Rail Vikas Nigam Limited (RVNL) selected as the winning bidder to deliver and maintain 120 Vande Bharat trains. The second batch of 80 EMUs is to be executed by the domestic Titagarh Wagons and BHEL.

The tender was announced in April 2022. Five bidders – four consortia and one company – competed for the right to manufacture and deliver 200 Vande Bharat trains to India: TMH-RVNL, Stadler-Medha, Siemens-BEML, Titagarh-BHEL, and Alstom. The lowest bidder was expected to produce 120 Vande Bharat 3.0 and maintain them for 35 years. As the state programme Make in India requires localisation, the winner is to upgrade Indian Railways’ plant at Latur and organise the production there. The delivery of the prototype is scheduled two years after signing the contract.

The second lowest bidder, if it agrees to match the lowest bid, was expected to manufacture and maintain 80 trainsets, as well as to establish production in Chennai.

Vande Bharat is a series of electric multiple units designed in India. Since 2019 already 16 EMUs have been put in operation, and orders for more are in progress now. The third generation of 16-car Vande Bharat trains with sleeper places is seen as a replacement for locomotive-hauled mainline expresses Rajdhani and Shatabdi and are expected to have a maximum operating speed of 160 km/h.

The three lowest bids per trainset were:

    • INR 1.2 bln ($14.5 mln) — TMH-RVNL,
    • INR 1.4 bln ($16.9 mln) — Titagarh-BHEL,
    • INR 1.45 bln ($17.6 mln) — Siemens-BEML.

Alstom and Stadler-Medha offered even higher prices and failed to make the top three.

After selecting TMH-RVNL as a winner, Indian Railways formally notified the consortium of awarding the contract for the supply of Vande Bharat EMUs and their maintenance. As TMH CEO Kirill Lipa said to reporters, the contract had not been signed yet, but it would be signed within 45 days from March 29. So, the contract is expected to be signed in May between Indian Railways and a subsidiary TMH to form in India. The cost of the contract is estimated to be $6.5 bln: production and delivery of 120 trains (1,920 cars) for $1.8 bln, their maintenance during 35 years for $2.5 bln, and the remainder are allocated for indexation.

The second lot for the delivery and maintenance of 80 trains (1,280 coaches) was offered to the Titagarh-BHEL consortium. Although their initial proposal was 16.6% higher, they agreed to lower the price to TMH-RVNL’s price.