A consortium comprising Russia-based CJSC Transmashholding and Rail Vikas Nigam (TMH-RVNL) has become the lowest bidder for the $7bn (Rs580bn) contract related to Vande Bharat trains in India, reported Press Trust of India (PTI) citing officials.

The contract will include the manufacturing and maintenance of 200 Vande Bharat trains.

It will also cover the up-gradation of the government manufacturing units and trainset depots, RVNL stated in a stock exchange filing.

As per the sources, the TMH-RVNL consortium submitted a bid of $14.5m (Rs1.2bn) per train set, which is lower than the cost of the last Vande Bharat trains produced by ICF-Chennai at $15.5m (Rs.1.28bn) a set.

State-run Bharat Heavy Electricals (BHEL) and Titagarh Wagons consortium placed the second lowest bid for the contract.

Last month, French firm Alstom and India-based Medha Servo Drives, in partnership with Swiss company Stadler, submitted bids for a $3.6bn (Rs300bn) contract related to 100 new aluminium Vande Bharat trains.

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At that time, it was said that the winning bidder will be responsible for the production and maintenance of 100 aluminium Vande Bharat trains for 35 years under the contract.

Last year in September, Kineco secured a contract worth $14.1m (Rs1.13bn) for interior works of Vande Bharat semi-high speed trains.

Besides, the firm reportedly obtained another order for the supply of 68 train fronts for Vande Bharat.