ICF rolls out 3,000th coach in 215 days

 By the end of this fiscal, ICF hopes to roll out 4,000 coaches.  File Photo

By the end of this fiscal, ICF hopes to roll out 4,000 coaches. File Photo

The Integral Coach Factory here made history on Friday by rolling out its 3,000th coach in 215 days, for the year 2019-2020.

The 64-year-old production unit beat its own record by reducing the number of working days to achieve the target of making 3,000 coaches in 289 days in 2018-19 to 215 days this year and retained its position as the largest coach- maker in the world.

Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal tweeted out that the ICF displayed dedication and efficiency by producing its 3,000th coach in less than nine months, a reduction of 25.6 % in the time taken compared to the previous year.

Significant achievement

This is a significant achievement when it comes to optimum utilisation of manpower and infrastructure, since the ICF took the same time (217 days) to roll out just 1,000 coaches in 2014.

Established in 1955, the ICF took one year to develop its first indigenously built shell.

From then on, it moved from one milestone after the other. It made the first air-conditioned coach in 1966 and commenced export of bogies to Thailand the next year.

Rakes for the Kolkata Metro, Palace of Wheels, Lifeline Express (Hospital on Wheels), Diesel Electric Multiple Unit for Jammu & Kashmir, self-propelled Accident Relief Train, Vistadome glass-top tourist train for Arakku Valley and Goa were among its other achievements over the years.

A majority of the 3,000 coaches made this year were the Linke Hofmann Busch (LHB) variant built on German technology.

In 2017, the ICF made four popular coaches for Indian Railways — Tejas, Anubhuti, Deenadayalu and Antyodaya. The year 2018 was the most celebrated year with the rolling out of Train18, built indigenously in a record 18 months at a cost of ₹ 98 crore.

Train 18, later flagged off by Prime Minister Narendra Modi as Vande Bharat Express, is considered as the most successful product of the ‘Make in India’ initiative.

Raising the bar

“Last year, the ICF manufactured 3,250 coaches and we crossed the 3,000-mark on December 20, 2019. By the end of this fiscal, more than 4,000 coaches, including rakes for EMU, MEMU, Self-Propelled trains and export orders, will be rolled out. We have beat our own record set last year and have retained the top position in the world when it comes to manufacturing rail coaches,” a senior ICF official told The Hindu on Saturday.

Though Vande Bharat Express, India’s first semi-high speed train, was considered a game changer, the tenders floated to make more rakes were cancelled owing to a variety of issues, particularly allegations of procedural flaws involving senior officials.

Amid stiff resistance from political parties, trade unions and some senior officials to the proposal for procuring train sets by floating global tenders, the Ministry of Railways asked the ICF to make 45 rakes for Vande Bharat Express in two years.

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Printable version | Jul 4, 2022 9:49:12 pm |