200 sleeper Vande Bharat trains to run on Indian Railways tracks; tender floated

Indian Railways has floated a tender for design and manufacturing of 200 sleeper-versions of the Vande Bharat trains. The tender document, seen by TOI, has been floated today with a closing date of 26 July 2022. According to Indian Railways, the new sleeper trains will be air-conditioned and will be used on long and medium distances.
The tender is for design, manufacturing-cum-maintenance of the new Vande Bharat sleeper trains. The tender also includes the need to upgrade the available existing infrastructure and for the development of additional infrastructure. The upgradation works will take place at either Marathwada Rail Coach Factory in Latur or the Integral Coach Factory in Chennai, the tender states. The first pre-bid conference will be held on 20 May 2022.
The stated timeline for delivery is 82 months, which means 6 years and 10 months. The 16-car sleeper train will have a minimum of 11 AC 3-tier coaches, 4 AC 2 tier coaches, 1 First Class AC coach. The 20 car sleeper Vande Bharat train will have 15 AC 3-tier coaches, 4 AC 2 tier coaches, 1 First Class AC coach. The 24-car version will have 19 AC 3-tier coaches, 4 AC 2 tier coaches, 1 First Class AC coach. The new sleeper Vande Bharat trains will be designed for a maximum speed of 160 kmph and testing speed of 180 kmph. The trains shall be designed for a life of 35 years.
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Vande Bharat Express AC chair car trains were first introduced in 2019 on the Delhi-Varanasi and Delhi-Katra routes. The train boasts of several firsts for Indian trains such as European style rotating seats, automatic doors with sliding footsteps and a bullet train style look and a modular driving cabin. The “engine-less” trains have regenerative braking and faster acceleration and deceleration enabling a substantial reduction in train travel time.
Indian Railways is already manufacturing the upgraded Vande Bharat Chair car trains at the Integral Coach Factory in Chennai. Earlier this year, FM Nirmala Sitharaman had announced the plan to roll out 400 semi-high speed Vande Bharat trains over the next three years. Given the need for faster and more comfortable trains on long distance routes, Indian Railways is now looking to roll out the sleeper versions of Vande Bharat. The trains are expected to be a big step up from the premium Rajdhani Express trains.

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