Mumbai

No BHEL parts for new AC trains

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ICF shelves plans to manufacture rakes using firm’s components

Air-conditioned Electric Multiple Units (AC EMUs) to arrive in the city in 2019 will not have components of the Bharat Heavy Electrical Limited (BHEL), as the Integral Coach Factory (ICF) has temporarily shelved plans to manufacture AC EMU rakes based on BHEL’s parts.

General Manager, ICF, Sudhanshu Mani, said that they had been waiting for components from the public sector undertaking for months in order to commence production for the second AC EMU. “We have shelved the plans for the BHEL AC EMU rake for now. We will revisit them when the components arrive,” Mr Mani said. The sole AC local pressed into service last year is a BHEL rake and according to the original plan four AC EMUs with BHEL components were to be manufactured for the suburban railway system in 2018.

Mr. Mani said production schedules were being hampered due to the delay and they had taken a decision to focus on the AC EMU, which ICF has built along the lines of Train 18. ICF’s AC EMU is expected to be ready by the first week of January and will arrive in the city before the end of the month.

“The Research Design and Standards Organisation (RDSO) will conduct trials on the rake. The process usually takes around two to three months, although we are hoping the trials are finished within one and half months,” Mr. Mani said.

Railway officials said that the AC EMU will also require sanctioning from the Commissioner of Railway Safety (CRS), a process that usually takes a couple of months. However, Train 18 received its CRS sanction in 15 days.

If all goes well, ICF plans to manufacture 12 more rakes for the Mumbai suburban network. The AC rake has underslung equipment creating extra space for around 350 more passengers. It will also have greater acceleration to mitigate the additional dwell time on account of the door closing system and is capable of running of 130 km per hour. Mr. Mani said that as an experiment they will also have a flexi solar panel on one of the coaches of the AC EMU.

ICF is also manufacturing a 12-coach AC rake which will be split into two and attached to regular local trains to form semi-AC locals, which was announced by Union Minister for Railways Piyush Goyal. Components for this train have been provided by the Hyderabad-based firm, Medha.

Mr. Mani said the first of those rakes will arrive by the second week of February and undergo trials before being pressed into service.

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Printable version | Jan 24, 2020 11:17:30 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/no-bhel-parts-for-new-ac-trains/article25854932.ece

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