Big ‘Make in India’ achievement for Indian Railways! The Integral Coach Factory (ICF), Chennai has rolled out its 60,000th coach. ICF, which is the largest coach manufacturer in the world, makes a large number of coaches in various designs including self-propelled passenger coaches, semi high-speed train sets like Vande Bharat Express as well as luxury coaches. The 60,000th coach which was recently flagged off at ICF was a self-propelled inspection car. The factory is now eyeing breaking its own record by producing more than 4,000 coaches in the next year itself.
All Indian Railways coach factories have now switched to the production of LHB coaches, which are safer and more comfortable than the old ICF-design coaches. The national transporter is now focusing on augmenting production capacity of self-propelled train sets like Vande Bharat to reduce travel time and reduce congestion on the network.
According to a senior railway official, in the current financial year, the coach factory will take up the design, development and production of Train 19. The Train 19 is a sleeper version of Train 18 in the lines of Rajadhani Express. The official further said that the factory is also going on full steam to produce more Vande Bharat Express train sets and a total of 40 such train sets will be rolled out from the factory in the immediate future. Moreover, in a bid to improve the safety of Train 18, in the event of cattle crossing, the ICF has planned to fit the driver cabin crash guard with aluminium design in place of FRP, he added.
The first Vande Bharat Express was flagged off by PM Narendra Modi in the month of February, this year. The semi-high speed self-propelled train that currently runs between New Delhi and Varanasi, boasts many modern features such as European-style comfortable seats, aircraft-like diffused lighting, modular bio-vacuum toilets, disabled-friendly toilets, rotating seats in the executive chair car coaches, mini pantry, automatic temperature control system, wheelchair parking spaces, automatic doors with sliding footsteps among others. Recently, the train completed the one lakh kilometre journey mark.