ICF bags award for green initiatives

Integral Coach Factory (ICF), Chennai won the ‘Golden Peacock Environment Award’ for taking green initiatives to operate the factory. Rakesh Misra, general manager of ICF, said the company will be making first ever airconditioned EMU for Western Railway in 2013.


Swanky new trains to arrive only in Oct

The delivery of 72 alternate current (AC) rakes manufactured at the Integral Coach Factory (ICF), Chennai, is expected to miss the revised deadline again. As per the reworked deadline, the prototype rakes were to arrive by August, but Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation (MRVC) officials now expect them to arrive only in October.

The delay will hit plans to modernize the fleet and traction system, besides hampering service augmentation.
A senior MRVC official said, “Work on electrical fittings is on. We expected work on prototypes to be completed in July so that the rakes could reach in August. Thereafter, trials will have been carried out to ensure that subsequent rakes run smoothly on the suburban system.”

An agreement between MRVC and Bombardier Transportation was inked in November 2011. TOI had reported in December 2012 that the delivery of rakes had been delayed by six months. As per the original schedule, the rakes were expected by March 2013.

The shells are being built at the ICF and electrical infrastructure, including traction motors, are being supplied and installed by Bombardier Transportation at a cost of Rs 14.8 crore per EMU. The rakes are being procured under the Mumbai Urban Transport Project (II).
The World Bank, which extended a loan of $385 million to MRVC for the project, is unhappy with the delay. An MRVC official said, “A World Bank team has sought a meeting next week to review progress of the project.”

Following a review in November 2012, the bank in a report on March 31, 2013, revised the rating performance of MRVC from ‘moderately satisfactory’ to ‘moderately unsatisfactory’.

MRVC may impose a penalty for the delay if Bombardier’s explanation is unsatisfactory; as per the agreement, the total penalty should not exceed 5% of the project cost.

A Central Railway official said, “Unless delivery of the rakes starts, Western Railway will not be able to give us AC/DC dual traction compatible rakes. Till then, CR will not be able to switch from 1,500 V DC traction to 25 KV AC current traction.” FASTER RAKES


The 12-car electric multiple units (EMUs) can run at a maximum speed of 120kmph, as against 100kmph of the present Siemens rakes (pictured above) Less susceptible to corrosion as they will be made OF stainless steel Shell exterior of rakes are white and a darker shade of purple, including the door, to camouflage paan stains Will look like Metro system coaches Improved ventilation as air blowers have been installed atop rakes

Agreement between MRVC and Bombardier Transportation for electrical fittings was signed in November 2011 Shells of rakes are being manufactured at Integral Coach Factory, Perambur

Bombardier Transportation has been unable to deliver approved electrical fittings on schedule.


ICF signs MoU with IIT-M for coach safety

The Integral Coach Factory (ICF) has inked MoUs with the IIT-Madras, the National Institute of Design (NID), Ahmedabad, and the Rail India Technical and Economic Services (RITES) to improve coach safety and passenger comfort.

The pact with the IIT-M will cover aspects of safety, emergency windows, fire retardant material, bio-degradable and recyclable material, skin tensioning, energy efficiency in use of solar energy and computer modelling for air flow in AC coaches, a press note from ICF said.


“Accident relief trains in all divisions by 2017”

Self Propelled Accident Relief Train (SPART) units that can be rapidly deployed at accident sites will be in place at all 59 Indian Railway divisions across the country by 2016-17, Keshav Chandra, Member (Mechanical), Railway Board said on Monday. Addressing newspersons after flagging off the High Speed SPART developed by the Integral Coach Factory (ICF) here, Mr. Chandra said already SPART units were available at 26 divisions and the plan was to introduce them in each of the remaining divisions in a time-bound manner.

“These SPART units with advanced medical facilities, surgery theatres and drug storage would be over and above the conventional accident relief trains with eight to ten coaches that have to be fitted with locos to be taken to an accident site,” he said. The HS-SPART that rolled off the ICF is to be stationed in Bilaspur Division under the South East Central Railway. This is the first high-speed version of the SPART series of vehicles (powered by German Voith hydraulic transmission) with a capacity to reach operating speeds up to 120 kph — which is comparable to the Rajdhani — whereas earlier versions clocked only about 105 kph section speeds.

The HS-SPART has a fully equipped medical van flanked by a supervisor van and a tool van with power pack. The medical van consists of a doctor’s room, 12-bed ward, autoclave cubicle, operation theatre and a 12-bed post operative ward. It also has a kitchen to cook basic foods for distribution during relief operations.

Mr. Chandra, who also flagged off the ICF’s first 1600 HP DEMU (Diesel Electric Multiple Unit) with indigenously developed three-phase AC transmission, said production units would be increasing outturns of these DEMUs to meet the rising requirements of inter-city traffic.

Abhay K. Khanna, ICF General Manager, said the HS-SPART was conceived by the high level committee on disaster management and the Railway Board had mandated the ICF with the delivery of 41 SPART cars, he said.


In 2013, local coaches will sport a brighter purple

The purple-white colour scheme of the Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation’s local railway rakes will not just remain unchanged, the purple colour will, in fact, be brightened further for the next lot of rakes that will roll out next year.

Between 2007 and 2011, the MRVC had procured 75 white-and-purple 12-car rakes under the Mumbai Urban Transport Project from the Integral Coach Factory (ICF) at Perumbur.
The MRVC had toyed with the idea of changing the colour after feedback that the rakes have become an eyesore with paan and gutkha stains on the exterior since these are difficult to erase or dilute even after an intensive wash at maintenance yards.

A senior MRVC official said, “After consulting the stakeholders, we decided against reverting to shades closest to the old, reddish brown-and-yellow rakes even though these camouflaged stains better.”

MRVC official said the purple-white colour is identified with new beginnings in the Mumbai suburban history and reverting to the old colour is not a good idea.

When told that these stains stand out prominently on the purple-white colour, he said, “The new rakes will be made of stainless steel and the difference will be marked when their exterior is cleaned.”

The railways use approximately 500 litres of water to wash a rake, and the average cost of cleaning one 12-car rake is Rs 25,000.

MRVC had awarded a fresh consultancy to the National Institute of Design (NID), Ahmedabad, for a new colour scheme for the 72 rakes that are to be delivered next year.


Published in: on November 17, 2012 at 7:40 am  Leave a Comment  
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EMUs get trendy with fancy colours

Commuting on a few Electric Multiple Unit (EMU) trains in the city is all set to become charming as the Southern Railway has just received four brand new colourful trains.

Sporting bright violet and white, the coaches were manufactured by the country’s premier production unit of the Indian Railways, the Integral Coach Factory (ICF) in Chennai. Interestingly, the exteriors of the rakes have been designed on the lines of the EMUs operated by the Mumbai Railway Vikas Corporation Ltd, in the financial capital of the country.

“We had delivered four EMU rakes, each (rake) comprising of nine compartments, to the Southern Railway since last month. We will supply one more rake by this weekend,” a senior official with ICF told Express. “In fact, the Southern Railway is getting new EMU coaches after a period of three years,” the official added. Unlike the conventional EMUs, the motor coaches in the new EMUs have aerodynamic leading front-end. Besides, it has seats earmarked for the physically challenged people.

According to the official, each compartment has a seating capacity for 100 passengers. “Also, special seats to facilitate the movement of differently abled persons have been provided. Two compartments in every train have 16 seats for the physically challenged people,” the official said.

Asked about the gaudy violet and white coated exterior, official sources claimed that they had followed the design used of EMUs in Mumbai. As of now, EMU trains running on the Chennai suburban section wore dark green, brown and cream colours.

Meanwhile, a new EMU have been brought to the EMU Workshop at Tambaram for inspection. According to sources with Southern Railway, the coaches delivered by the ICF would be subjected to ‘Joint Safety Certificate’, wherein authorities from different departments would carry out inspections.

However, efforts to contact senior officials with Chennai Division to get the information on when these EMUs would be inducted went in vain.


Rlys wants your view on new rakes

A team from the Integral Coach Factory (ICF), Chennai, on Monday started collecting commuter feedback on new rakes plying the suburban rail network.

The survey was kicked off on Monday. The feedback form comprises 33 questions on issues such as the present seat design, the quality of cushions and handles, ventilation, illumination, etc. The questionnaire also seeks to know if commuters would like the new rakes to be equipped with sockets for charging cellphones and laptops.

“This is a preliminary survey and we aim to collect feedback from at least 500 commuters in the next couple of days,” a senior ICF official said. “The responses will be analyzed and presented in the form of a report to ICF’s chief design engineer.”

The report is expected to be prepared in two months.

Managing director of Mumbai Railway Vikas Corporation (MRVC) Rakesh Saksena said, “Based on the commuter feedback, changes can be made in the design of future rakes.”

The MRVC has already suggested changes for 72 rakes that are to delivered after two years. These suggestions include cushioned seats in second-class compartments, better-quality cushioned seats with more comfortable backrest and more leg space in firstclass compartments.

It has already been decided that the new rakes will have stainless steel bodies instead of the current Corten steel ones as it requires less maintenance. The first two prototype 12-car rakes will run on a trial basis in Mumbai by early next year. If the trials are successful, four such rakes will be supplied per month from December 2013 onwards.


Coming soon: Trains of steel, speed

Trains in the country will sport new interiors, have more passenger comfort, will be faster and will be easier to maintain as the Integral Coach Factory (ICF) in Chennai gears up to make stainless steel coaches using German technology in a new plant being set up in Perambur.

This is part of a long-term plan to phase out existing coaches that are made using 55-year-old designs and replace them with variants of German Linke Hofmann Busche (LHB) coaches that can run up to 200 kmph.

The railway ministry has sanctioned Rs 249.58 crore to ICF for the purpose. “Preliminary works to establish a new plant near one of our units has started. The new plant will be attached to the existing factory,” said ICF chief mechanical engineer Hemant Kumar.

Central Organisation for Modernisation of Workshops and Rites has invited tenders to identify contractors to build machine units, buildings and other facilities that are required to make the coaches.

“When production of stainless steel coaches starts, the capacity of ICF will increase to 1,700 coaches per year,” he said. The factory now produces nearly 1,400 coaches.

It looks like the conventional coaches made using ICF’s design may be on their way out even though they are cheaper than LHB coaches. Railways wants to go for the expensive LHB coaches because they are superior to the conventional coaches designed by ICF.

Railways imported 20 coaches from Germany in 2000 and started manufacturing LHB coaches at the Rail Coach Factory, Kapurthala, after transfer of technology, from 2001. These coaches are used in Rajdhani Express, Shatabdi Express and a few Duronto trains.

As these coaches received good feedback and railways want to run faster trains, the ministry gave the green signal to manufacture more LHB coaches and sanctioned `130.24 crore to RCF and sanctioned a new plant at ICF in the 2011 Railway budget. A new coach factory planned at Rae Bareli will also make stainless steel coaches.


ICF to roll out stainless steel coaches

The premiere production unit of Indian Railways, the Integral Coach Factory (ICF) at Perambur in Chennai, has been sanctioned a project for manufacturing stainless steel coaches for the first time in the country. According to Vijay P Meshram, Controller of Stores, ICF, stainless steel coaches are less in weight when compared to the present mild steel bogies. Pointing out that the new technology would augment for high-speed bogies, he said that the life span of stainless steel coaches was higher than that of the mild steel bogies by 10 years.

Addressing a gathering during the Independence Day celebrations at ICF on Monday, Meshram said in the previous year, ICF had churned out 1,503 coaches, which was an all-time record production. A total number of 43,551 coaches had been produced till July 2011 by ICF since its inception, Vijay P Meshram informed.

He said, “ICF has been sanctioned a project of Rs 250 crore for manufacturing technologically upgraded coaches of stainless steel shells and high speed bogies and an increase in capacity from 1,500 to 1,700 coaches.” The new bogie facilities and shell manufacturing facilities are likely to be completed by March and August 2013 respectively, he added.

Meshram also said that 4.6 crore units of electricity had been generated through the windmills installed by ICF in Tirunelveli district till the end of May 2011.

In the financial year 2010-11, ICF had generated two crore units of electricity and met 80 per cent of its electrical energy requirements from green energy.


Published in: on August 18, 2011 at 4:50 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Steps to Cut Down Energy Consumption in Indian Railways

The Ministry of Railway has awarded a contract through competitive bidding for supply of compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) free of cost to railway employees residing in railway colonies. The cost of CFLs will be recovered by the firm through Carbon Credits to be earned from the project. Railways will also earn 3 per cent carbon credits that accrue from the project. Under this project each railway household will get up to a maximum of 4 CFLs in exchange for 4 Incandescent lamps (ICL). A 60 watt ICL will be replaced by 14 watt CFL and 100 watt ICL by 20 watt CFL.

A light weight design of stainless steel coach has been acquired by Indian Railways though a transfer of technology from M/s. Linke Haffman Bush (LHB). Besides having a higher passenger capacity, it has also lighter in weight as compared to conventional design coaches. This initiative has led to efficient and optimized energy consumption for haulage of coaches/trains. Indian Railways have indigenously manufactured about 900 such coaches so far.

Other initiatives undertaken by Railways to cut down energy consumption and emission are:-

1. Use of energy efficient kits on diesel locomotives.

3. Trials with bio-diesel for Diesel Locomotives and CNG mixed with high speed diesel in Diesel Multiple Units (DMUs).

4. Adoption of state of art high efficiency Insulated Gate Bipolar Electrical Multiple Units (EMUs) that exploits regeneration to recover energy during braking. This also reduces carbon emission as drawal of electricity is reduced.

5. Adoption of energy efficient light fittings and employing Clean Development Mechanism to distribute CFLs free of cost to Railway employees residing in Railway colonies, in replacement of incandescent lamps.

6. Generation of electricity through wind mills in wind rich areas. A pilot project of 10.5 MW capacity has been successfully executed in Tamil Nadu for supply of wind generated electricity to Integral Coach Factory (ICF) at Chennai.

7. Thrust on use of solar power and solar water heater particularly in running rooms and hospitals. And

8. Use of stainless steel in wagon construction to reduce wagon weight.

This information was given by the Minister of State for Railways, Shri K.H. Muniyappa in a written reply in Lok Sabha today.