Chennai, India (Metro Rail Today): The Integral Coach Factory in Chennai is planning to roll out the third rake of Vande Bharat Express in March 2022. Suneet Sharma (Chairman Railway Board) inspected the ongoing work and expressed satisfaction over the progress made in the much-awaited project of manufacturing 102 Vande Bharat trains to be operated across the country.
A senior ICF official told the media, “the shells of at least five Vande Bharat trains are in the final stages of completion. Electrics are expected to be fitted in a couple of months. We hope to roll out one rake by March 2022.”
The first two takes of Train18, India’s first Semi-high speed trains rolled out by ICF in 2018, are now being operated as Vande Bharat Expresses on the Delhi-Varanasi-Delhi and Delhi-Katra-Delhi routes. After Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the operation of 75 Vande Bharat trains on the occasion of the Independence Day this year, the Ministry of Railways floated tenders for manufacturing 58 rakes, each comprising 16 coaches. Tenders were already floated for making 44 rakes. Of the 58 rakes of 16-car composition, 30 would be rolled out from the ICF, Chennai, 14 from the Modern Coach Factory, Raebareli and 14 from the Rail Coach Factory, Kapurthala. In the latest tenders, railways have insisted on the compliance of the Public Procurement (Preference to Make in India) Order 2017.
Official of Railways said, “sufficient local capacity and competition in supply of the tendered item in required quantity and therefore public procurement of this items is restricted to Class-I Local Suppliers only”
Suneet who reviewed the work with A K Agarwal (ICF General Manager) and other senior officials expressed satisfaction with the progress made in the among of Vande Bharat and Linke Hofmann Busch (LHB) coaches and urged Team ICF to lead the project from the front, sources in the factory said adding that the CRB/Chief Executive Officer also announced an award of Rs 1 lakh to ICF staff in recognition of their good work.