The Indian Railways are set to invite financial bids worth over Rs 20,000 crore this month for manufacturing coaches that will be equipped with modern facilities at the Kanchrapara rail factory in West Bengal.
The state-run transporter is planning to build around 5,000 AC and non-AC coaches that will feature automatic doors, forced ventilation system, bio-toilets, regenerative braking system and better interior design.
The coaches are even said to run faster than the ones currently running.
The Railways intends to acquire 500 Electric Multiple Unit and Mainline Electric Multiple Unit coaches per year as assured off take from the facility to make local and mainline train services faster and comfortable.
"We will issue the request for proposal (RFP) this month for the Kanchrapara coach factory in Bengal," said a senior Railway Ministry official.
The Indian Railways have ensured that responses from potential vendors meet its needs through the financial bidding which will effectively allow easy comparision of proposals.
This way, the transporter can make the best choice.
In June last year, the Railways had sought requests for qualification (RFQ) for manufacturing 5,000 modern EMU/MEMU coaches over the next 10 years in a joint venture model.
The RFQ got a good response as Bombardier (Canada), Siemens consortium (Germany), Alstom (France), CRRC Corporation consortium (China), Stadler (Switzerland), Medha consortium (India) and Indian PSU BHEL, made the cut to qualify for the financial bidding.
The Indian Railways is reported to have a 26 per cent stake in the joint venture project.
Among other developments in Country's railway system, Passengers heading to Goa during the summer can now ride in a new premier train service from Mumbai - Tejas Express.
The new line will boast of cuisine curated by celebrity chefs, tea and coffee vending machines and individual LCD screens is expected to begin operations from June this year.
In another achievement, the railways have introduced a specially-designed Vistadome air-conditioned coach, claimed to be a first-of-its-kind n its Visakhapatnam-Kirandul passenger train.
The train has a large observation lounge that offer its passengers a panoramic view of the sites along the 128-km rail route from Visakhapatnam to Araku valley hill station.
Keeping up with technology as well, Indian Railways will also use radio-frequency identification tags (RFID) for tracking of wagons, coaches and locomotives to ensure effective and transparent functioning.
The tags are being designed by the Centre for Railway Information System (CRIS) is estimated to cost Rs 1000 per tag.