Indian Railways (IR) has received bids from seven consortiums for an Rs25bn ($379m) contract for procuring and maintaining 15 electric multiple unit (EMU) train sets.

The confirmed bidders include China-based Zhuzhou Electric and Zhuzhou Times Electric; Alstom-Belm consortium; Hitachi-AnsaldoBreda; Hyundai Rotem-Melco; Kawasaki-Toshiba-Bhel; CAF-Bombardier and Siemens.

A tender-evaluation committee of senior officials of the Indian Railways would examine and evaluate the request for quotation (RFQs) of the seven consortiums.

"The selected bidder will be required to supply 15 train sets consisting of 315 main line EMUs."

The committee will submit its report in two weeks’ time, following which the successful candidates would have to submit their RFPs by 15 November.

The selected bidder will be required to supply 15 train sets consisting of 315 main line EMUs.

As part of the deal, two kinds of train sets will be built, including one with 20 rail cars with sleepers to be deployed for Rajdhani and Duranto trains while the other will be of 16 rail cars with sitting arrangements, which would be used for Shatabdi trains.

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According to the tender document, the selected bidder will be allowed to procure two EMU train sets, while the remaining 13 have to be manufactured in India.

The new trains will initially run at a maximum speed of 130km/h, reducing journey times by three hours between Delhi and Kolkata and Delhi and Mumbai, while in the long-term 200km/h operation is predicted with the new trains replacing LHB-designed coaches.