New Delhi: A consortium of Titagarh Rail Systems Ltd (TRSL) and state-owned Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL) has inked a contract with Indian Railways for manufacturing 80 Vande Bharat sleeper trains. "Titagarh Rail Systems Ltd and Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd consortium inks a contract with Indian Railways for manufacturing 80 Vande Bharat sleeper train sets by 2029. The estimated value of the contract is Rs 24,000 crore," the companies said in a joint statement. This is the first time Indian Railways has awarded a contract of this value to an Indian consortium for design and manufacturing of complete train sets and maintenance for 35 years, it added.
The TRSL-BHEL consortium was the only AatmaNirbhar consortium that participated in the tender process. "We are committed to becoming a modest contributor to the Prime Minister's AatmaNirbhar vision. Vande Bharat trains have revolutionised the way we travel, and we are proud to be a part of the government's Make in India initiative.
"The order shall be carried out over a span of six years, wherein the first prototype shall be delivered within a two-year timeframe, after which the remaining deliveries will take place," TRSL Vice Chairman and MD Umesh Chowdhary said.
The final assembly, testing, and commissioning of the Vande Bharat sleeper trains will be done at the Indian Railway's facilities in Chennai. There will be 16 coaches in each train, with an approximate capacity to accommodate 887 passengers in total, the statement said. The train will be designed to achieve speeds of 160 kilometres per hour (kmph).