New Delhi, India (Urban Transport News): Tata Steel Ltd is planning to invest Rs 3,000 crore on Research & Development (R&D) by Financial year 2025-26 and set to roll out the 'First in India' seating system for the new generation Vande Bharat Express trains from September 2022, said a top official.
Tata Steel's Composites division bagged a Rs 145 crore order for manufacturing & supply of seating systems of the next-generation Vande Bharat express that includes the supply of complete seating systems for 22 train sets, with 16 coaches in each train set.
"These are specially designed seats, which can rotate 180 degrees and have aircraft-style passenger amenities. This is first-in-India' kind of a supply, which will be executed over 12 months starting September 2022," said Debashish Bhattacharjee, Vice President, Technology & New Materials Business, Tata Steel, PTI reported.
"Composites industry in India is dominated by institutional businesses and is largely dependent on infrastructure, industrial and railway sectors. One of the key initiatives of the composites business was to convert to Fibre Reinforced Polymer (FRP) applications where steel is currently being used. Railways has been a promising customer for the FRP Composites business of Tata Steel," Bhattacharjee added.
The FRP used in the seats will have higher corrosion resistance and lower maintenance cost. Moreover, it will be conforming to the European standard of fire-retardant property, and will offer improved safety and comfort to passengers.
The company is targeting to be among the 'Top 5 in technology in steel industry globally by 2030' and one of the key enablers for achieving technology leadership is a quick conversion of ideas into pilot testing and commercialisation, the company officials said.
"This requires adequate infrastructure and pilot scale facilities to test the hypothesis developed during lab-scale experiments. Expenditure plan for Tata Steel India research & development (R&D) for the next 5 years (FY22-26) is Rs 3,000 crore," said an official.
"Massive investment by Tata for seats on trains. Still awaiting the finalisation of tenders in ICF for machine-made panels to provide better Interiors to Auto/Tractor/Bike standard," commented Rajesh Agrawal, Former Member (Rolling Stock), Railway Board.
Tata Steel is setting up a greenfield facility at Khopoli, Maharashtra, in collaboration with a technology partner from the Netherlands.
Developed in India, Vande Bharat Express is the second fastest train in the country which operates at a speed of 130 km/hr.