Tuesday, October 19, 2010

RCF seeks Rs 150 crore from Railway Ministry
In order to enhance its manufacturing capacity of stainless steel coaches, Kapurthala-based Rail Coach Factory (RCF), a production unit of the Railway Ministry, has written to the ministry seeking Rs 150 crore for upgradation of technology and infrastructure. With fresh capital infusion the unit would be able to produce 1,000 coaches per annum against 458 coaches (targeted) in this fiscal year. Presently, majority of the coaches are made from conventional steel i.e cotton steel or mild steel.
Talking exclusively to Business Standard, RCF General Manager Pradeep Kumar said, "We have written to the ministry for funding the new project which includes enhancing the capacity of stainless steel coaches to 1,000 units per annum. This year we are targeting to produce 1,600 coaches, out of the total 458 would be of stainless steel."
It is worth mentioning that from a modest beginning, RCF has achieved various milestones and has now become one of the largest coach manufacturing units in the world. As of now, it has manufactured more than 22,000 coaches, which represent almost 50 per cent of the coaching fleet of Indian Railways. RCF is now producing more than 1,500 coaches per annum, comprising of more than 70 variants including stainless steel high speed coaches for trains like Rajdhani, Shatabdi & Duronto Express. Further, in order to improve the safety of passengers, crashworthy coaches have also been produced here, which are capable of absorbing high impact energy in non-passenger area of a coach at its ends, while keeping the middle passenger portion safe. Last year, it manufacture 1,562 coaches and this year it is targeting to produce 1,600 coaches of different variants.
In order to cater to the growing demand from Railways, recently it has enhanced its production capacity from 1,000 coaches to 1,500 coaches per annum with an investment of Rs 100 crore. Further, the wheel shop project having capacity to produce wheels for 6,000 wheels per annum with an investment of Rs 60 crore is partly operational and likely to be fully operational in next 2-3 months.
Commenting upon export, he mentioned, "We have an order of 4 sets of 16 Diesel Electric Multiple Units (DEMU) coaches from Senegal besides 6 coaches for West Africa."
On Saturday, Indian Railways rolled out its first air conditioned Double Decker rake, comprising of 10 coaches (8 double deckers and 2 power cars). This rake has been offered to Eastern Railways for running between Howrah and Dhanbad. These high speed-stainless steel coaches are capable to run at a speed of 160 kmph. These coaches have 128 passenger carrying capacity in comparison to 78 passengers in Shatabdi chair car, thus increasing the capacity. Overall, RCF had order of 13 Double Decker coaches and 3 power cars, the reamaining coaches and power car would be supplied very soon.


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