NEW DELHI, May 31: French rail company Alstom will manufacture 100 aluminium bodied trains with sleeper facility beating an Indian company in bidding.
Alstom won the bid after quoting the lowest for the tender at a price of ₹150.9 crore per train. Hyderabad-based Medha Servo Drives, the only other company to participate in the bidding, had quoted a price of ₹169 crore per train. Aluminium bodied trains will be lighter in weight as compared to a stainless steel body.
The train is pegged to have a speed capability of 200 km per hour. Currently, Vande Bharat Express trains are manufactured at an average cost ₹120 crore per train. Sudhanshu Mani, former General Manager at the Integrated Coach Factory, Chennai, and creator of the Vande Bharat trains, said, “Will ₹30 crore higher price be justified for 200 kmph capability, and what about the track [quality] and energy efficiency?”
The current plan, in works by the Indian Railways, is to upgrade tracks in certain sections to run trains at 160 kmph. At present, Vande Bharat Express trains run at not more than 80 to 90 kmph in a majority of the sections due to the inability of the tracks to sustain high speeds.
The order for 100 aluminium bodied trains is in addition to 120 trains to be manufactured by Russian TMH and Indian public sector undertaking RVNL consortium, as well as 80 trains to be manufactured by the Titagarh Wagons and Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) consortium.