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News Entry# 286948
Nov 27 2016 (17:23)  Indian Railways to stop production of ICF coaches by 2017, to shift completely to LHB (
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Coach Augmentations

News Entry# 286948   Blog Entry# 2073075     
   Past Edits
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As an aftermath of one of the deadliest train accidents—the derailment of the Indore-Patna Express on 20 November claiming 150 lives—the Indian Railways has decided to stop manufacturing Integral Coach Factory (ICF)-designed coaches by 2017.
The national carrier plans to shift to German Linke Hofmann Busch (LHB) coaches which are made of stainless steel. The ministry of railways held a meeting with heads of railway production units on 24 November to discuss the feasibility of shift towards LHB coaches.
“We discussed various issues in the meeting and some permissions are still required. The
railway minister had said in his budget speech that the railways will increase the LHB production in the next five years. We are trying to expedite. It will depend on when we have the supply chain in place, though the level of production has been increasing,” said Hemant Kumar, member rolling stock, Indian Railways.
According to the ministry of railways, the national carrier has around 1,253 LHB coaches at present. It has set a target of manufacturing 1,268 coaches in the next financial year and around 1,600 by 2019.
The plan is to phase out ICF mainline coaches. However, self-propelled vehicles will remain which include mainline electric multiple units, diesel electric multiple units, electric multiple units and accident relief medical vans which do not have screw coupling.
A coupler facilitates interconnection of rolling stock to form a train. The national carrier mostly uses screw coupling which is less safe.
The ministry plans to hold meetings with vendors shortly to plan the process of expediting the production of LHB coaches.
“The requirements of LHB coaches are different from the ICF design. There are certain components which are different. Unless and until vendors are able to scale up production, we cannot take a decision that we will stop ICF and start LHB, and end up making neither. So we have given them some time. Even among ICF coaches, we are trying to switch over to the CBC,” Kumar said.
As another measure to further strengthen coach safety, the ministry had decided in a board meeting held on 21 November to introduce center buffer couplers (CBCs) in the existing ICF coaches in place of screw coupling.
The Indian Railways uses CBCs in around 1,500 coaches.
“Let me make it clear, ICF coaches are not unsafe. Safety-wise there is no doubt. But if it derails, then damages are more. The safety feature comes from the CBC. So once CBC is there, if an accident takes places coaches don’t get dismantled and chances of casualties are much less. CBCs cost around Rs.4.5-5 lakh per coach,” said Kumar.
At present, LHB coaches are being manufactured at the Rail Coach Factory (RCF) in Kapurthala, ICF in Chennai and Modern Coach Factory in Raebareli.
According to Kumar, the Modern Coach Factory in Raebareli manufactured around 600 LHB coaches this year, ICF Chennai around 1,000 LHB coaches and RCF Kapporthala will manufacture around 600 coaches by next year. The national carrier expects around 2,000 LHB coaches by next year.
According to experts the railways should shift to LHB coaches.
“They should definitely shift to coaches that do not crumple. In ICF coaches, the end zone crumples as it crumples it derails, whereas if the whole coach is a solid structure then people inside are protected and they should definitely go for LHB coaches. Railways need to do more research and development in the sense of simulations such as it is done in the automobile sector for crash testing purposes to see how the human bodies get affected in case there is an accident,” said transport economist G. Raghuram, who is also a professor at the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad.

Nov 27 2016 (17:24)
★★★★ Niket Karan ★★★★^~   6341 blog posts   12 correct pred (100% accurate)
Re# 2073075-1            Tags   Past Edits
Welcome move

Nov 27 2016 (17:56)
Baaz SGUJ WDP4~   1385 blog posts   45 correct pred (63% accurate)
Re# 2073075-2            Tags   Past Edits
I donot understand. The production should have stopped long back. Were they waiting for a disastrous accident to occur, in order to take this obvious decision?

Nov 27 2016 (18:32)
   2571 blog posts   4 correct pred (67% accurate)
Re# 2073075-3            Tags   Past Edits
A welcoming move...
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