The Indian Railways on Tuesday rolled out its 50,000th coach marking a significant juncture in the public carrier’s history, with Minister Suresh Prabhu saying we have to “think differently” for the 100,000th coach.
Launching the coach, manufactured at the Integrated Coach Factory (ICF) at Chennai, through video conferencing from, Prabhu said it is totally different from the first coach rolled out from the factory over 60 years ago.
“There have been many changes in terms of quality, interior design, speed, fuel consumption, noise reduction in the coach manufacturing technology since the first coach was manufactured here 60 years ago,” he said, dedicating the 50,000th coach, a three-tier AC coach, to the nation.
“The 100,000th coach will be different from the today’s coach as the technology is changing and we have to think differently also,” he said.
Prabhu also stressed on the public carrier’s plans to build a full train on solar power.
“We have plans to manufacture a full train to be run on solar power from this facility.”
A non-AC coach of Rewari-Sitapur passenger train is currently being lit by solar panels installed on its roof as part of Railways’ plan to harness the green source of energy.
The Minister also announced Rs 5 lakh reward for ICF staff for attaining the milestone of rolling out 50,000th coach.
A premier industry, ICF was set up in 1955. Since then the factory has been manufacturing conventional coaches approximately 1,500 a year, catering to the ever-increasing demand for coaches for new trains.
ICF manufactures various types of AC and non-AC coaches including EMUs (Electrical Multiple Units) and DEMU (Diesel Electrical Multiple Units), Metro coaches for Kolkata Metro.
Now the ICF will also manufacture LHB coaches, till now made at Rail Coach factory at Rae Bareli and Kapurthala.
LHB coaches are mainly used in premier trains like Rajdhani, Shatabdi and Duronto services.
ICF is credited with introducing Braille signages in coaches for visually-challenged passengers.
Besides, Prabhu also inaugurated the upgrading facility at the ICF for production of Linke Hofmann Busch (LHB) coaches through video conferencing facility from here.
On fuel efficiency, Prabhu said, “Railways is undertaking trial run for the use of dual-fuel (CNG and diesel) technology and our next step is on to run a train on solar power.”