Chennai, India (Metro Rail Today): Indian Railways' Chennai-based Integral Coach Factory (ICF) is all set to manufacture coaches for Vande Bharat Trains, Railways and Metro Rail projects in India. Besides 75 new Vande Bharat Trains, ICF is manufacturing coaches for the Kolkata Metro's North-South corridor, which belongs to the Indian Railways.
During celebrations of 75th Independence Day, AK Agarwal, General Manager, ICF, said, "The Integral Coach Factory (ICF) in Chennai is all set to produce metro train coaches for the Maharashtra Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (Maha-Metro), which has been entrusted to develop metro train services for Pune and Nagpur cities. Besides, all the 75 trains of Vande Bharat, planned to be introduced by August 15 next year, will be produced at ICF".
ICF and Maha Metro will soon sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for production of metro train coaches for Nagpur & Pune Metro Rail Project. The number of coaches, production cost, and other aspects of building metro coaches for Maha-Metro are being worked out. “An MOU will soon be signed between Maha-Metro and ICF,” said an official.
Indian Railways has dropped its earlier plans to build Vande Bharat rakes at the Rail Coach Factory, Kapurthala, and Modern Coach Factory, Raebareli. “Minister of Railways Ashwini Vaishnaw, who recently inspected the ICF, said all the 75 rakes of Vande Bharat (version 2.0) will be built here,” said Agarwal.
He said that ICF is planning to manufacture 3,500 coaches in about 50 variants for prestigious projects like Vistadome, which will be running in Gujarat by this September, Gatishakti Freight Train in the Vande Bharat Platform and Steam Engine themed Heritage Train with electric propulsion in the Vande Bharat Platform will also be built. He further added that Garib Rath air-conditioned 3-tier coaches that facilitate AC travel at cheaper ticket fares will also be developed at ICF.
"In four years, 475 Vande Bharat trains will be manufactured and they will cover the entire country. Nearly 75 Vande Bharat express trains will be manufactured and deployed throughout the country before August 15, 2023," said Ashwini Vaishnaw, Union Minister of Railways, Communications and Electronics & Information Technology.
The third rake of Vande Bharat train has recently completed its trial tests.