ICF Production Capacity To Be Enhanced To 6 Vande Bharat Rakes Per Month; 14 Depots To Be Ready For Maintenance
The Railways has finalised the plan of setting up depots for maintenance at about 14 stations on the possible 28 routes of Shatabdi and Intercity where Vande Bharat would be operational.
Indian Railways is enhancing the production capacity of Integral Coach Factory (ICF) at Chennai from four Vande Bharat rakes in a month to six at an estimated cost of Rs 130 crore to meet the target of 75 Vande Bharat trains in 75 weeks.
Besides, the Railways has also finalised the plan of setting up depots for maintenance at about 14 stations on the possible 28 routes of Shatabdi and Intercity where Vande Bharat would be operational.
Vande Bharat depots are coming up at Shakur Basti, Lucknow, Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Howrah, Patna, Pune, Guwahati, Tirupati, Bilaspur, Bhopal and Chennai among other stations.
According to the Railways, the ICF is mandated to manufacture 44 more Vande Bharat trains of which the first prototype is expected to roll out in the first week of August to be followed by the second prototype in the second week of August.
Besides, wheels, bio-vacuum toilets and automatic doors of Vande Bharat trains are also being imported.
No stone is unturned to meet the target as wheels are being airlifted from Romania and axles are made available in Bangalore for the first batch of two Vande Bharat trains to be rolled out before 15 August, said the senior ICF official and added almost 44 shells are ready for Vande Bahrat coaches.
After the rolling out of the trains, prototypes would be put on trial for 45 days before launching the commercial service.
As an excellent example of the ‘Make in India’ success story, the Railways launched India’s first indigenous semi-high speed train, Vande Bharat Express on 15 February 2019 on the New Delhi Kanpur-Allahabad-Varanasi route.
With speed, safety and service are the hallmarks of this train, the second Vande Bharat Express was flagged off on Delhi-Katra route in October 2019.
ICF, a Railways Production unit, has been the force behind a completely in-house design and manufacture, computer modelling and working with a large number of suppliers for system integration in just 18 months.