The estimated cost breakdown suggests that the basic manufacturing expenses will be paid upon the delivery of the train sets. Additionally, approximately Rs 17,000 crore will be allocated for the maintenance of these trains over a period of 35 years. Earlier this year, Alstom missed out on the opportunity to secure a mega order for 200 stainless steel Vande Bharat trains, where the bid price per train set was nearly Rs 151 crore. Comparatively, the bid for aluminium Vande Bharat trains is Rs 30 crore higher than the lowest bid received for the stainless steel counterparts, which will be manufactured by a consortium comprising Russia's Transmashholding (TMH) and the state-owned Rail Vikas Nigam (RVNL).
Experts assert that aluminium rakes offer enhanced capabilities to handle higher speeds and are lighter compared to stainless steel rakes. However, the Vande Bharat trains have unique engineering requirements, differing significantly from freight trains. They operate using distributed traction power through self-propelled coaches, demanding a higher level of technical expertise for manufacturing.