Piyush Goyal-led Indian Railways has awarded a Transfer of Technology (ToT) contract to a Korean company for the development of capabilities for production to the commissioning of aluminium-bodied coaches. The complete redesign of Indian Railways train coaches, as well as procurement of full train rakes from foreign suppliers for Indian Railways, are not in the Railway Ministry’s plan. However, the ToT has been awarded by the Modern Coach Factory in Rae Bareli to acquire the capability to make world-class aluminium coaches.
This ToT includes development (prototyping), designing, manufacturing as well as testing of aluminium body passenger coaches of eight variants. Out of the eight variants, five variants are of broad gauge loco-hauled coaches, while three variants are of standard gauge metro coaches. The aluminium-bodied coaches may be capable of attaining speeds of up to 250 kmph – in line with Indian Railways dream of semi-high speed train travel.
On the basis of these facilities, the manufacturing of Indian Railways coaches shall be done at the Modern Coach Factory and not through import, according to the information provided by Railway Minister. Recently, Piyush Goyal in a written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha stated that as of now there is no plan to start the import of complete train sets for Indian Railways from foreign suppliers. The Integral Coach Factory of Indian Railways, located in Chennai, has initiated the procurement process only for propulsion equipment as well as control system for manufacturing of as many as 44 train sets of the Vande Bharat category.
Last month it was reported that the Integral Coach Factory has beaten its last year’s target of coach production. The factory had beaten its last year’s outturn of 3,262 number of coaches in just a duration of 9 months 13 days. Besides this, the coach manufacturing factory is now on its way to cross 4,000 mark by the month of March 2020. Moreover, the factory eyes to cross the 5000 mark in coach production, next year. A few months ago, the factory had turned out its 3000th coach of the year in less than nine months’ time. The Integral Coach Factory was declared the world’s largest coach factory last year.