ALSTOM and a consortium of Medha and Stadler have been shortlisted for a contract to build 100 lightweight Vande Bharat EMUs for Indian Railways (IR).

The 160km/h trains will be the first with aluminium bodyshells to be manufactured in India.

Following the opening of technical bids on February 23, IR is now expected to request financial bids. The aluminium-bodied Vande Bharat EMUs will be built at the IR facility at Sonepat in Haryana state.

IR has still to select a preferred bidder for the contract to build 200 sleeper car variants of the Vande Bharat EMU, having opened technical bids in November 2022.

Alstom and Medha-Stadler have also been shortlisted for this contract, alongside a consortium of Siemens and BEML; Metrowagonmash; and a consortium of BHEL and Titagarh Wagons.

According to the tender documentation, the lowest bidder will receive an order for 120 trains, while the second-lowest bidder would manufacture the remaining 80.

Although shortlisted, senior officials say that the Indian government is reluctant to award the contract to Metrowagonmash of Russia following the invasion of Ukraine.

IR has already awarded contracts for manufacture of 102 chair car variants of the Vande Bharat. These are being built at three state-owned production units: the Integral Coach Factory (ICF) in Chennai, the Modern Coach Factory in Rae Bareli and the Rail Coach Factory in Kapurthala.

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