Kolkata: The commercial production of Vande Bharat sleeper trains will begin at Titagarh Rail Systems Ltd's (TRSL) Uttarpara plant from June 2025, a top company official said on Tuesday. TRSL, along with its consortium partner BHEL, has been entrusted by Indian Railways to build 80 sets of the semi-high speed trains, he said. At least 50-55 percent of the train components will be produced in Bengal by the consortium, in which the city-based TRSL holds 52 percent stake, the official said.
TRSL's share of the Vande Bharat sleeper train order is Rs 12,716 crore out of the total Rs 24,000 crore contract bagged by the consortium, he said. "The commercial production of Vande Bharat sleeper trains will commence from June 2025 and we are already in the process of installing requisite separate lines and other infrastructure facilities at the Uttarpara plant. A significant portion of the Rs 650 crore capex has also been lined up for this purpose," Titagarh Vice-Chairman & MD Umesh Chowdhary told PTI.
"The first eight train sets will be completely built at Uttarpara. While the final assembly, testing and commissioning of the Vande Bharat sleeper trains will be done for the subsequent train sets at Indian Railway's facilities in Chennai," he said.
"The order will be carried out over a span of six years. The first prototype will be delivered within a two-year time frame," Chowdhary said. Some key components of the trains, like their bodies and interior will be built in the state while electrical components and some others will be from the consortium partner, the official said.
"From 2026 onwards even the wheels will come from our group venture. A Titagarh-Ramkrishna Forgoing proposed joint venture company named Ramkrishna Titagarh Rail Wheels Limited will manufacture them," Chowdhary said.
"We will build a two-lakh-wheels-per-annum capacity plant, which will be the largest train wheel plant in Asia outside China. From 2026, the wheels for Vande Bharat sleeper trains will be from our proposed JV facility," Chowdhary said.
Each Vande Bharat Express sleeper train will be designed to acheive speeds of 160 km per hour and have 16 bogies with an approximate capacity to accommodate 887 passengers. A total 120 Vande Bharat trains will be supplied by another consortium by Rail Vikas Nigam Ltd and Russian company TMH, he added.