Date of Post: 15 Dec, 2018
Mainline Electric Multiple Units (MEMUs) cater to short distance intercity day travel. MEMUs presently running over Iindian Railways (IR) are propelled by conventional DC traction system and the traction equipment are mounted on board in the driving motor coaches. Integral coach factory (ICF) started making MEMUs from 2018 with 3 phase on board equipment which is more modern, maintenance friendly and energy efficient.
The on board equipment on these MEMUs occupy considerable space which otherwise could be used for passenger seating. The prototype of underslung MEMU has been manufactured by ICF at a cost of Rs. 26 crs and it is almost the same of the present MEMUs viz. Rs. 25 Crores with on board electric systems.
ICF has recently rolled the India’s first modern semi-high speed train set named Train 18 successfully. The Train 18 is now under speed trials. Train 18 had many first time features including underslung propulsion that enabled clearing of entire on-board space for passengers thus increasing the number of passengers. ICF has now taken up the task of introducing this underslung technology to mass transit systems such as EMUs (Electric Multiple Units) and MEMU (Main Line Electric Multiple Units).
As a first step, ICF has manufactured first Mainline Electric Multiple Unit (MEMU) with underslung electrics. In this train passengers can move from end to end as in Train 18. One can call it the little sister of Train 18, for the speed range 110 kmph to 130 kmph.
The coaches of MEMU Underslung are longer (23.1m against 21.3m in MEMU on board) similar to Train 18. Modern bogies of Train 18 are adopted for improved performance. Fully suspended 3 phase motors power the motor coach bogies. The brake system contains wheel mounted disc brakes and regeneration brakes for effective and quicker braking.
- Operates on 25 kV AC Overhead Traction.
- 3 Phase indigenous electric traction system (all underslung)
- Regenerative braking saves about 35% energy.
- Stainless steel coach body.
- Aerodynamically shaped stainless steel driving end nose.
- Air conditioned driver cabs and ergonomic FRP driver desk.
- Screw-less interior panels
- Best in class cushion seats
- Two toilets in passenger coaches and one toilet in Driving Motor Coach
- Sleek aluminum luggage racks
- Stainless steel slip free flooring
- Sealed gangways between coaches permit end to end movement.
- CCTV surveillance system
- GPS based passenger information/ announcement system
- Double leaf sliding doors.
- Modern Train 18 bogies
- Capable of operating 130 KMPH with better traveling comfort for passengers
- Talk Back system to enable passengers to talk to driver in case of emergency as in Train 18
The MEMUs currently in service have a carrying capacity of 2402 passengers; that will be augmented by 9% now, enabling carrying of 2618 passengers on board, by shifting the electric equipment to undercarriage as in Train 18. The underslung MEMU rake will have 2 driving motor coaches (DMC) and 6 passenger coaches (TC-Trailer Coaches). The DMCs will have a carrying capacity of 280 passengers (84 Sitting + 196 Standees) and TCs will carry 343 passengers (96 sitting + 247 standees), totaling to 2618 passengers (744 sitting + 1874 standees).
India’s Train Man, Sri S. Mani, the General Manager of ICF, stated that the new design underslung MEMU Rake would be ready for flag off and subsequent RDSO tests and trials by 15th December, 2018. He added that ICF had requested Railway Board to allot this rake to Southern Railway which would help ICF to monitor its performance with a view to improving the performance further specifically in the hitherto unchartered speed range of above 110 kmph for MEMUs.
Source: Integral coach factory