ICF becomes World’s Largest Rail Coach Manufacturer
Indian Railways’ Chennai based Integral Coach Factory (ICF) became world’s largest rail coach manufacturer after surpassing top Chinese manufacturers. ICF had manufactured 2,919 coaches from April 2018 to February 2019 as compared to 2,600 coaches by Chinese manufacturers. The numbers of coaches manufactured were 40% higher than those manufactured previous year in same time period.
Integral Coach Factory (ICF)
- ICF is rail coaches’ manufacturer located in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. It was inaugurated by first Prime Minister of India Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru in 1955.
- It is owned and operated by Central Government (Union Ministry of Railways) through Indian Railways. It primarily manufactures rolling stock for Indian Railways.
- It manufactures range of coaches, including Linke-Hofmann-Busch (LHB), self-propelled train sets (SPTs) such as electrical multiple units (EMU).
- It also exports railway coaches to other countries including Zambia, Philippines, Tanzania, Uganda, Nigeria, Thailand, Myanmar, Taiwan, Vietnam, Mozambique, Bangladesh, Angola and Sri Lanka.
- It is one of three coach manufacturing facilities of Indian Railways with the other two being Rail Coach Factory, Kapurthala and Modern Coach Factory, Raebareli.
- Recently it manufactured, India’s fastest train- “Train-18” in record breaking 18 months. Now it is renamed as “Vande Bharat Express”
Features of Vande Bharat Express
Touted as the Next Generation Shatabdi Express, Vande Bharat Express is the first long-distance train without separate locomotive (engine) and is driven by a self-propulsion module.
- It is capable of running at a speed of up to 160 kmph. It will cut travel time by 15 percent compared to the Shatabdi Express.
- The train has been developed by ICF at an investment of nearly Rs 100 crore.
- It is fully air-conditioned train and is equipped with CCTV cameras.
- It has 16 coaches with Chair Car type configuration with 2 Executive Class Chair Cars and 14 Chair Cars.
- It has two executive compartments in the middle with 52 seats each and the trailer coaches would have 78 seats each.
- It has soft lighting, automatic doors, footsteps and GPS-based audio-visual Passenger Information System.
- It has intelligent braking system with power regeneration for better energy efficiency thereby making it cost, energy and environment efficient.
- The footstep in a coach’s doorway slides outward when the train stops at a station enabling passengers to board or deboard safely with comfort.
- The train offers some features to enhance passenger comfort which include inter-connected fully sealed gangways, automatic doors with retractable footsteps, onboard Wi-Fi and infotainment, and modular toilets with bio-vacuum systems.
- It also has provision of Divyang-friendly facilities.
- It also features rotational seats which can be aligned in the direction of travel (executive class), roller blinds and diffused LED lighting, and disabled-friendly toilets.
- All toilets are bio-vacuum type.
- The lighting is dual mode – diffused for general illumination and personal for every seat.
- Every coach has a pantry with facility to serve hot meals, hot and cold beverages.
- The insulation is meant to keep heat and noise to very low levels for additional passenger comfort.
- Adding up the green footprints, the train has regenerative braking system in the coaches which can save up to 30 percent of electrical energy.
• Speed, Safety and Service are the hallmarks of this train.