Date of Post : 05 July, 2017
Chennai: The Integral Coach Factory (ICF), Chennai coach manufacturing unit, owned and operated by the Indian Railways, has approached metro rail companies, including Chennai Metro Rail Ltd (CMRL), for a trial order of one prototype rake — coaches that form an entire train — so they may compare its performance against those manufactured by firms like Germany’s Bombardier and France’s Alstom, whose coaches Indian metro rail companies currently operate.
- ICF rakes can cost just 50% of the price of foreign units, experts said on Tuesday, as the coach-maker flagged off its first high-quality rake for the Kolkata metro.
- ICF will supply a total of 26 such full trains for the Kolkata metro, 14 of which it will send by 2018.
- The coach-maker has deliberated for a few years on whether eligibility conditions permitted it to take part in metro rail tenders.
- The ministry of urban development, has communicated with ICF, asking for details on the proposal, senior ICF officials said.
- CMRL is already in talks with ICF for the supply of coaches, or ‘rolling stock’ in railway parlance, but currently does not have any requirement.
- ICF has managed to use high-end technology like
- A three-phase IGBT-based propulsion system
- Regenerative braking (which saves 30% of energy consumed)
- Conical springs for smoother rides
- The cost of each rake, which can carry 3,050 passengers, is Rs 40 crore, or half the cost of an imported metro rake.
- But ICF faces a challenge because the coaches it manufactures are for broad-gauge tracks and metro rail systems use standard-gauge coaches.
- “We redesign the bogies and body to suit standard gauge,” a senior ICF official said. “It is not a major problem.”