In a technical shift, Indian Railways is likely to get its first batch of aluminum coaches by Feb 2022. According to IRCTC sources, Modern Coach Factory, MCF, Raibareli will make the first batch of these coaches for Indian Railways. Kolkata Metro would be the first beneficiary of this project that will receive 3 coaches by the early months of the next year. In the next phase, Indian Railways is likely to get aluminum coaches for Rajdhani, Shatabdi, and Duronto Express like premium trains.
Aluminum Coaches for Indian Railway
Indian Railway has signed a contract with South Korean firm Dawonsys for making aluminum coaches. With Rs 128 crore contract to the Dawonsys, this is an ambitious project of MCF. The contract has provision for manufacturing 8 broad gauge locomotive-hauled train coaches, including three AC-3 tier sleeper coaches, two AC-2 tier sleeper coaches, one AC-1 sleeper coach, one AC DSLR with driver and guard cabin, and one AC Hot buffet car. Although the execution of this project has been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the design of the aluminum coaches shall likely be finalized by the end of August 2021. Once the MCF approves the design of these coaches shared by the South Korean firm, the coaches will be made in South Korea and then brought to India.
The three standard gauge Metro coaches that would be delivered in the initial phase shall include one trailer coach and two driver motor cars. These Metro coaches shall have a speed potential of up to 100 Kmph.
Moreover, Dawonsys will slowly transfer coach design and manufacturing technology of aluminum coaches to MCF. As part of this deal, the South Korean firm will also provide training to MCF officials. The self-propelled coaches for Rajdhani Express will have a potential speed of 225 Kmph. These self-propelled coaches will help Indian Railways to run premium trains between major cities.
Why Aluminum Coaches?
Aluminum provide many advantages over steel coaches. Read on to learn why Indian Railways has decided to introduce these coaches:
- Lighter than steel coaches resulting in better fuel efficiency and lower haulage cost.
- Corrosion resistant aluminum for an increased life span of up to 40 years.
- Coaches will help Railways generate more revenue at reduced operational and maintenance costs.
- Increased speed potential due to light weight of aluminum coach.
- Hollow extrusion design for better crashworthiness in case of an accident.
- Increased production capacity due to less manufacturing time.
Indian Railway is focusing on developing MCF infrastructure. Once the MCF acquires technology and skill to develop aluminum coaches, it will start production. According to IRCTC sources, the Railway board has given the nod for manufacturing 500 aluminum coaches by the end of 2025.
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