Rail Wheel Factory production dips over poor orders from Railways

The country’s premier factory for production of train wheels has had a major dip in its output, thanks to a dwindling demand from the Indian Railways.

BENGALURU: The country’s premier factory for the production of train wheels has had a major dip in its output, thanks to a dwindling demand from the Indian Railways. This has impacted the annual turnover of Yelahanka-based Rail Wheel Factory by up to 20 per cent. With just 1,21,000 wheels being ordered in the financial year 2017-18, the annual turnover has been just Rs 921 crore.

A senior official of RWF said the annual turnover has dipped by 20 per cent. This is because of reduction in the induction of new wagons by Indian Railways in the past year, accompanied by the move to convert conventional coaches into the sturdy LHB coaches in Rajdhani, Shatabdi and other high-end trains. This has ensured lesser requirement for wheels from RWF.

However, he expects things to pick up this year as the Indian Railways has recently inked an order to procure 9,993 wagons.

Another tender for procurement of 22,000 wagons is in the offing for meeting the demand in 2018-19 and the subsequent years, he said. “One positive outcome due to the LHB coaches will be the increased demand for axles,” the official said. The RWF chose to make use of this break in production to carry out a major environment-friendly move, that of putting in place a Secondary Fume Extraction System, he said. “This filtration-based system ensures that particulates and other gases are not released into the atmosphere,” he said.

The RWF plant at Yelahanka started facing dip in the revenues not only due to the above factors, but also due to setting up of another RWF plant at Chhapra in Bihar which was politically motivated move by the erstwhile governments.

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