Indian Railways to invest Rs 4,000 crore in production of 740 swanky coaches

Anushka Khare Posted on: 2019-11-29 07:03:19 Viewer: 919 Comments: 0 Country: India City: New Delhi

Indian Railways to invest Rs 4,000 crore in production of 740 swanky coaches

New Delhi (Urban Transport News): India's national transporter Indian Railways is planning to manufacture 740 coaches for semi-high speed trains by 2022. The production of these coaches for the 'Train 18' series trains will be carried out by the Integral Coach Factory (ICF). These coaches may cost about Rs 4,000 crore. In a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha on November 27, Union Minister of Railways and Commerce & Industry Piyush Goyal said that the production schedules for 2019-20, 2020-21 and 2021-22 involve the manufacture of 160, 240 and 240 coaches, respectively, for the train sets at Integral Coach Factory (ICF), Chennai.

The first train is expected to roll-out in the second quarter of 2022. Presently, two rakes of Train 18 (Vande Bharat Express), one on New Delhi-Varanasi route and the other on New Delhi-Katra route are being operated on the Indian Railways network. Earlier in October this year, Railway had announced its plan to procure 100 trains through the global tendering process to increase the speed of services by 2022. The production of train 18 has been stopped due to some controversy in the past tendering process at its Integral Coach Factory (ICF), Chennai.

According to the present rolling stock capacity of Railways, the Vande Bharat Express can run at the highest speed of 160km/h, while the Mail and Express trains can operate at up to 70km/h. In 2016, Indian Railways had awarded a Rs 40 billion contract for the manufacturing of 40 Vande Bharat Express trains to a joint venture of Stadler and domestic supplier, Medha Servo Drives. The contract was awarded as a part of the Government of India's ‘Make in India’ initiative by Chennai based rail coach production unit Integral Coach Factory.

But due to some vigilance complaint alleging the previous tendering process, the Indian Railways had stopped its domestic production plans in March this year. Subsequently, Railway had canceled the contract and ordered a vigilance inquiry to investigate complaints that tender documents were tweaked to favour the Medha Servo Drives.

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