Indian Railways is eyeing world-class ‘Make in India’ self-propelled semi-high speed train sets! Indian Railways has invited bids for future-ready modern train sets that will be manufactured by foreign majors in the Integral Coach Factory (ICF)! Codenamed ‘Train-20′ in the hope that they will start plying by 2020, Indian Railways’ new train sets will have the capability of attaining speeds of 160 kmph. In fact, there is a strong possibility that these new train sets will ply on the Delhi-Mumbai and other major metro routes.
Sudhanshu Mani, General Manager, Integral Coach Factory said, “Train 20 is a Make in India project but the first rake will come from abroad. Train 20 would be 100% world-standard. We have called bids. European majors Siemens, Bombardier, Siemens and Alstom are together now, Stadler, Talgo – these are the people who will quote and we are hoping one of them will bag the order.”
The approximately Rs 2,500 crore order – said to be a ‘Make in India’leap – will be for 14 train sets of 20 coaches each, 11 spare coaches. In total 291 coaches will be made for Indian Railways. The contract involves design, development, manufacturing, testing and commissioning of the train sets. “One or two coaches will come from abroad. The last 4 rakes will be built entirely in ICF,” Mani told. Indian Railways hopes to finalise on the foreign major by mid-January 2018.
Train 20 will be able to attain a maximum speed of 160 kmph, making it a semi-high speed train. The aluminium-bodied self-propelled train set will be energy efficient, says ICF. The train set will have under-slung 3 phase propulsion system, automatic doors and a test speed of 176 kmph. Two types of coaches – air-conditioned chair car and sleeper-type – will be manufactured. The sleeper type coaches will include AC – 1st class, AC-2 tier and AC-3 tier.
According to Mani, simultaneous track-upgradation will happen so that the new train sets can run at their maximum speed of 160 kmph. “Some tracks are already there. For example, Gatimaan Express runs at 160 kmph. We are hoping that by the time Train 20 comes, Mumbai-Delhi tracks will be able to take 160 kmph and other metros also. So that’s a simultaneous exercise. The board is working on the upgradation of tracks. These are two separate exercises, they have to merged together to run the train at that speed,” he said.
The new coaches will also be safer, says ICF. “All safety features of LHB will be there. Also these new train sets will have more electronics and a platform where every new technology can be married into. The platform is available for a future upgradation of technology and whatever is already available is also safer than what we have,” Mani said.
ICF is also hopeful that the successful foreign tenderer will enter into future agreements with the coach factory for other train sets for Indian Railways and overseas markets as well.
Meanwhile, ICF is also working on ‘Train-18, which is another ‘Make in India’ project for self-propelled trains. According to Mani, Train 18 will be 90% world-class and Train 20 will be 100% world-class. Conceptualised as a chair car, the train set is also envisioned to achieve speeds of 160 kmph.