Railways places orders for 44 Vande Bharat trains

Indian Railways has placed orders for 44 Vande Bharat semi-high speed trains comprising 16 coaches each with the Integral Coach Factory, as part of its efforts to modernise the railway network and empower passengers.

A railway ministry release said the procurement process ensured transparency, accountability, speed of delivery as also compliance with RDSO specifications and vendor neutrality by allowing maximum potential bidders to ensure competitive rates.
The induction of more Vande Bharat trains will improve passenger throughput by way of higher acceleration/ deceleration and reduction in turnaround time,
The revised specification takes care of the improvements pointed out by Chief Commissioner for Railway Safety in the prototype rake and will provide more reliable service along with ease of operations and improved passenger comfort, says a railway ministry release.
The new train sets will provide an actual saving of 20 per cent in journey time and all equipment are suitable for flooding conditions.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had flagged off the maiden run of the Vande Bharat train on New Delhi -Varanasi route on 15 February 2019. The second such train service between New Delhi and Shri Mata Vaishnodevi Katra was flagged off by home minister Amit Shah on 3 October 2019.
As part of the continuing initiative of Make in India, the Integral Coach Factory at Chennai has published the tender for supply of electrical equipment and other items for 44 trains of 16 coaches each. 
The tender is for globally competitive bids to procure 3 phase propulsion equipment (electrics) with passenger and operator related peripheral items suitable for maximum service speed 160 kmph speed with 50 per cent powering (8 motor coaches out of 16 cars of a train set). 
The procurement will be done in accordance with extant `Make in India’ policy of DPIIT.
All coaches of the trains will be chair car type for day travel. All the train sets will be provided with cab AC in DTCs, above roof HT equipment, 25 KV roof through HT cable assembly with associated accessories like insulators, jumper cables etc, fully air-conditioned passenger compartment with vestibule arrangement, automatic plug doors with retractable footsteps, automatic intercommunication door, PAPIS consisting of in-coach displays, speakers, side destination boards etc, luggage racks with reading lamps, direct lighting (for passengers) and diffused lighting (for luggage racks), continuous LED light fixtures, modular pantry equipments and GPS antenna in all coaches, mobile/laptop charging sockets in the passenger seats, CCTVs and emergency talk back units with networking system in all coaches.
The tender will be two packet single stage bid, where the bidder has to submit electronic bids for the technical and financial bid simultaneously. The technical bid will be opened first and the offers found eligible will be categorised as qualified. The offer not complying with the essential technical and commercial requirement of the tender will be declared as in- eligible for award of contract. After evaluation of the technical and commercial suitability of offers for placement of order, the financial bid will be opened for these technically suitable offers. 
“The revised specification takes care of the improvements pointed out by Chief Commissioner for Railway Safety in the prototype rake and will provide more reliable service along with ease of operations and improved passenger comfort,” says the release. 
These light weight energy efficient trains will have a ride index of less than 3.5 against the earlier value of less than 4, which will improve passenger comfort even for longer journeys. These optimised trainsets will also be suitable for operations in Jammu and Kashmir and the electricals will be tested for continuous operations at 160 kmph.
A residual acceleration value of 0.1 ms2, which is double the earlier value of 0.05 ms2, will enable the trainset to reach the top speed of 160 kmph in maximum 140 seconds. The new trainsets will provide an actual saving of 20 per cent in journey time and all equipment are suitable for flooding conditions. 
The trainset interiors will have improved fire safety as per EN 45545 HL2 and improved electrical protection and safety with a well-defined protection scheme for high voltage roof cable, automatic fire detection and alarm. The trainset is also provided with explosion proof, light weight lithium-iron-phosphate batteries specified to provide back up for duration of 3 hours, state of the art aluminium body roof mounted packaged unit (RMPU) type air-conditioning units with thermal comfort based microprocessor controller. 
The peak efficiency of propulsion system of these trainsets will not be less than 87 per cent, which provides for a more robust, efficient and reliable system. These trainsets will be supplied in multiples of basic units of 4 coaches each which can be attached or detached from the train as per requirement. This will be a major improvement in reliability and operational efficiency as it will be possible to replace basic units in case of defects, or augment the train length up to 24 coaches in case of increased demand. The present trainsets do not have this feature because of which the entire train set is rendered ineffective in case of any defect in a coach.