The Rail Vikas Nigam Limited (RVNL) and Russia’s TMH Group nurture the hope of entering into a contractual arrangement with the aim of providing the Indian Railways with the Vande Bharat sleeper trains.
The manufacturing process for these trains will unfold at the Railways' establishment situated in Latur, Maharashtra. Collaboratively, Titagarh Wagons and BHEL. They are responsible for delivering the balance of 80 trains to the Railways. With the advent of the sleeper model of Vande Bharat, the Railways gained a substitute for the current Rajdhani trains, opening up new possibilities.
The joint proposal from India's RVNL and Russia's TMH Group has emerged as the frontrunner by submitting the most cost-effective bid for the supply of 120 Vande Bharat sleeper trains, out of a total of 200. With a price tag of Rs 120 crore per train, the RVNL-TMH bid demonstrates a substantial cost advantage over other contenders.
According to Alok Kumar Misra, General Manager (Mechanical) at RVNL, in a statement to Times of India, it has been revealed that every Vande Bharat sleeper train is meticulously crafted for a top speed of 160 km per hour. These trains will boast a configuration of 16 bogies in total.
To break it down, there will be eleven air-conditioned (AC) 3-tier coaches, four AC 2-tier coaches, and the epitome of luxury, one AC 1-tier coach. Moreover, Misra noted that the potential exists for the railway system to expand the coach count even further, either to 20 or 24 coaches.
According to the RVNL official, the consortium is projected to finalise the inaugural prototype approximately two years after the agreement is signed. The official expects the deal to be fully executed by the end of this month.
The implementation of distributed power systems in Vande Bharat trains, differing from the front-driven mechanism of Rajdhani trains, will lead to a more comfortable journey for passengers aboard the new sleeper variant of Vande Bharat trains, said an official. Passengers can expect to experience significantly less jerking, vibrations, and noise compared to their counterparts travelling on the current Rajdhani trains. The official further highlighted that despite both Rajdhani and Vande Bharat trains having the capability to reach speeds of 160 km per hour, Vande Bharat trains showcase enhanced acceleration, allowing them to attain their top speeds at a faster rate.
With its swifter acceleration, the Vande Bharat trains are poised to achieve 160 km per hour more frequently compared to the Rajdhani trains. The present Vande Bharat model can accelerate from 0 to 100 km/hour in less than 60 seconds, a characteristic that will also be present in the upcoming sleeper versions, as stated by an official source.
The utilization of a distributed power system in Vande Bharat trains results in reduced strain on the railway tracks, in contrast to conventional front-driven trains. This advantageous design translates to diminished track maintenance requirements, as highlighted by the official.
As of now, there are a total of 25 Vande Bharat Trains that are running in India. It includes both Vande Bharat Gen 1, and Vande Bharat 2.0 Trains. You can check the available seats and book your train tickets for some of the popular Vande Bharat Express routes: