पेरम्बूर Perambur (PER): All coaches that are rolled out by the Integral Coach Factory (ICF) here will be made of stainless steel by 2019.
Last fiscal, 25 LHB (Linke Hofmann Busch) stainless steel coaches were made. This year, 75 coaches will be rolled out, Ashok K Agarwal, General Manager, ICF, told reporters here on Tuesday.
By 2015-16, it will be scaled up to 300 coaches and the next year, 600. While the conventional coaches have a lifespan of 25 years, stainless steel coaches would increase the lifespan by 10 years.
“We will also be introducing bi-directional swing doors for all AC coaches. The railway board has requested us to work on the design and we have submitted it,” Mr. Agarwal said. This would allow passengers to exit easily in case of emergency.
At present, doors in AC coaches open only inwards. For the existing coaches the swing doors will be retrofitted at the maintenance workshop. The process will begin in six months.
The ICF, which was set up in 1955 with Swiss collaboration, has rolled out 48,708 coaches till September 2014. Last year, 1,622 coaches were made here, for which it received ‘Best Production Unit’ award from the Railway Ministry.
This fiscal, the Chennai unit has made 824 coaches in the first six months, a 24.5 per cent jump when compared to the corresponding period last year.
“The railway board target for this year is 1,696 coaches. We will end up making 1,710 coaches,” Mr. Agarwal said.
On why the ICF does not participate in Metro rail bids, Mr. Agarwal, said, “The railway board decides participation in such bids. In future if any client approaches us, we will take it to the board.”