The 3-phase AC powered coaches are energy efficient and eco-friendly

The Integral Coach Factory (ICF) has rolled out the prototype of a wholly AC-powered EMU rake which scores higher than conventional coaches on energy efficiency and eco-friendly counts.

It is also the first ever EMU rake with a stainless steel shell body in the Indian Railways.

The 12-car rake, developed for the second phase of the Mumbai Urban Transport Project (MUTP) of the Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation (MRVC), will go on a three-month trial in Mumbai’s suburban rail system before the design is frozen and sent to the production unit at the ICF.

The prototype has also been designed with better passenger comfort and safety features such as roof-mounted ventilation and slide-doors.

Of the 72 rakes commissioned for the second phase, the ICF targets an out-turn of 30 AC traction rakes in 2014-15 and the remaining in 2015-16.

Flagging off the EMU rake, Rakesh Misra, Southern Railway General Manager, who also holds charge of ICF, said the ICF had been building EMU rakes that served the lifeline of Mumbai Suburban rails since the initiation of the MUTP-Phase 1 in 2007.

Rakesh Saksena, MRVC Chairman and Managing Director, said speedy commissioning of the new EMU rakes would greatly alleviate congestion on Mumbai Suburban system. In the six years of partnership, the 1,800 coaches supplied by the ICF were perhaps the highest induction into any suburban system in the world.

Pankaj Kumar, ICF Chief Mechanical Engineer, said the ICF’s plans included raising annual production to 1,700 coaches, a switchover to stainless steel coaches and 13 SPART (Self Propelled Accident Relief Train) rakes this fiscal.

S. Sridhar, ICF Chief Electrical Engineer, said the ICF looked to sustain stainless steel body EMU production beyond the MUTP as the design’s twin benefits of energy efficiency and eco-friendliness were relevant for the start-stop nature of suburban operations.

A unique feature of the 3-phase AC EMU powered by the Insulated-Gate Bipolar Transistor (IGBT) technology developed in partnership with multinational firm Bombardier was that it converted the kinetic energy generated during the braking of the train into electrical energy that was then directed back to the energy grid of the train, he said.

The ICF also has to leverage the technology for design and development of Metro rail coaches as the urban demand for these coaches was expected to increase manifold in the years ahead, he said.

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