Kochi: Kochi Metro Rail project is its going to have the first set of ‘Make in India’ coaches manufactured by Alstom. Though Elias George, Managing Director, Kochi Metro Rail Ltd had said that there will be a French flavour in the Kochi Metro Rail project as it is externally funded by AFD and made by Alstom, both being French establishments, the coaches will be engineered and fully manufactured in India itself thereby making it the first ‘Make in India’ coach.
Focusing fully on passenger comfort and safety, the coaches of the Kochi Metro Rail will have several attractive features. After unveiling the first coach of the Kochi Metro Rail project at the manufacturing facility of Alstom in Sri City the other day, the technical experts of Alstom said that each coach of Kochi Metro Rail will have a length of 22 m and a width of 2.5 m.
Alstom says coaches for Kochi Metro will be cheaper
Alstom Transport India will supply coaches to Kochi Metro Rail Ltd at a cost that will be lower compared with the ones supplied to other metro projects in the country.
Kochi Metro will commence its service from early next year.
Alstom, which commenced manufacturing these coaches on Saturday from its facility in Sri City about 70 km from Chennai, will deliver each coach at ₹8.40 crore against ₹10-12 crore for other metros, including Delhi and Chennai, said a senior company official.
The cost will be lower because the company has indigenously manufactured the coaches while most of the coaches for other metros were procured from abroad, he said.
M Venkaiah Naidu, Minister for Union Urban Development, Parliamentary Affairs, Housing and Urban Poverty, unveiled the first ‘Make in India’ coach shell for Kochi Metro at the Alstom factory.
The ₹5,189-crore Kochi Metro project is the second contract for Alstom after the Chennai Metro project.
The company will supply 25 sets to Kochi Metro with the first train expected to be delivered in early 2016. The project will help in development of Kochi, which is economical and commercial capital of Kerala, said Aryadan Muhammed, Minister of Kerala for Power and Metro, at the function.
Alstom is in charge of design, manufacturing, supply, installation, testing and commissioning of the standard track gauge trains with an option to supply 25 additional metro sets. Each train will have three cars to carry up to 975 passengers.
Elias George, Managing Director, Koch Metro Rail Ltd, said that the project is one of the fastest to be executed in the country.
The company has committed to give the first coach in 15 months, which is the fastest delivery anywhere in the world.
The French government has allocated a substantial amount for the project, he told newspersons.
Exports from the Unit
Dominique Pouliquen, President, Alstom China and Senior Vice-President of Alstom Transport, Asia-Pacific, said that the company plans to export half of its rolling stocks manufactured at Sri City in the next 2-3 years.
The French rail infrastructure company will export about 135 coaches to Australia; and is looking at customers in Europe, Asia-Pacific and the US for its coaches made in India. “A number of customers from abroad have visited Sri City and have started dialogue to procure coaches manufactured here,” he said.
Set up at a cost of nearly ₹630 crore, the Alstom facility has a production capacity of 120 coaches a year.
Bharat Salhotra, Managing Director, Alstom Transport India, said with the government planning to run metro trains in many cities, the company will ramp up by introducing two more shifts from the current single to reach its optimum capacity of 250 over a period of time.
The height of the coach will be 2 m each. Each coach will have a capacity to carry 250 passengers.
The coaches of Metro Rail, generally known as car body shell will have an underframe, two sidewalls and a roof – all made of stainless steel. The coaches will be totally sound proof and will be assembled at the assembling unit called Cathedral Station in the Alstom facility. Each coach of Kochi Metro Rail will be built at an estimated cost of `8.4 crore, making it one of the most cost-efficient coaches made in the country. The add-on features and colouring of the coaches will be done as per the customer requirements after the delivery. “The coaches will be coloured as per the theme selected by us. It will be designed with Malayali flavour. The colour and design will be unveiled by the Chief Minister soon,” said KMRL MD Elias George.
The Alstom plant at Sri City, at present, has the capacity to manufacture 250 coaches annually. Out of the total productivity, 50 per cent will be delivered for overseas projects.
Apart from the Kochi Metro Rail, the Alstom is also manufacturing coaches for Chennai Metro Rail. Kochi Metro Rail requires 25 set of trains, while 33 sets are required for the Chennai Metro. Each train of the Kochi Metro Rail will have three coaches while four coaches are there on other Metro trains. The Kochi Metro Rail coaches will be delivered by the end of December.