The Integral Coach Factory (ICF) is set to cross yet another milestone by rolling out indigenously manufactured ‘insulated-gate bipolar transistor’ (IGBT) based Electrical Multiple Units (EMUs) on Friday, under the Make in India plan.
“The advantage with the three-phase EMUs is that they can save energy up to 30 per cent. They will allow us to add or include our own features like sliding doors for air-conditioned coaches,” said Ashok K. Agarwal, general manager, ICF.
Union Minister of State for Railways Manoj Sinha, who will be participating in the valedictory of the diamond jubilee celebrations of the ICF, will flag off the first unit at the ICF headquarters in Chennai and it will be used in Mumbai.
Indian Railways decided to use the three-phase EMUs because the Western Railway was well-versed with the maintenance and technical aspects of such trains.
ICF has manufactured 130 three-phase electric train sets using propulsion systems of Germany-based Siemens and is manufacturing EMUs with propulsion system of Bombardier, a leading manufacturer of planes and trains.
Now, the Hyderabad-based Medha Servo Drives has produced two propulsion systems for the ICF.
“It is not only energy-efficient but also requires less maintenance because of oil-free compressor. Line failures will also rarely occur,” Mr. Agarwal said.
They are fitted with easy to slide, light weight sliding doors supported by imported sliding mechanism including user friendly locks, latches, and maintenance-free rollers.
Since the EMUs had regenerative braking, the motor would act as a generator whenever the brake was applied.
“The electricity generated in this process would be fed into the grid,” Mr Agarwal said.
Indian Railways has been using three-phase propulsion systems for diesel locomotives, electric locomotives and diesel electric multiple units.
The system is now being extended to EMUs.