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Indian Railways invites private companies to build plant to deliver 80,000 wheels every year

In response to the Russia-Ukraine war's influence on the production of Vande Bharat trains, Indian Railways for the first time issued tenders to solicit private investors to construct a wheel facility.

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New Delhi: In response to the Russia-Ukraine war’s influence on the production of Vande Bharat trains, Indian Railways for the first time issued tenders to solicit private investors to construct a wheel facility. This action will help India become self-sufficient and will lay the groundwork for it to start exporting wheels. According to Indian Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, the plant intends to produce at least 80,000 wheels annually for the ultra-rapid Vande Bharat Express trains.

The new facility will have a capacity of around 80,000 wheels annually. One lakh wheels will be provided by the Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL), but the remaining ones will be produced by the new plant.

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On August 15, 2021, Prime Minister Narendra Modi revealed his plan to connect 75 “Vande Bharat” trains to various regions of the nation in 75 weeks to commemorate “Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav.” By August 15, 2023, 75 of these trains are to be introduced. There are currently three Vande Bharat Express trains—two are running on tracks, and the third just finished successful trail runs.

The tender would be chosen based on the company’s capacity to export wheels and the nation’s potential to develop into a hub for wheel exports, the Minister stated during a news conference. The manufacturing facility must be operational by 18 months according to the tender.

The production of wheels for the rakes was halted as a result of the conflict in Ukraine. The first batch of 128 wheels, out of a total order of 36,200 wheels, was shipped from Ukraine to Romania. By May 3, they will be evacuated to India.

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Officials claim that Ukraine is one of the world’s top producers of wheels. For the production of freight railcar wheels, the EU accounts for about 75% of its orders.

According to the Indian Express, the Indian Railways is anticipated to begin producing the wheels at its Yelahanka factory, which has already received many bids. Even the imported wheels have had axles made at the factory for them.

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