Indian Railways to ramp up production of LHB coaches
NEW DELHI: The Indian Railways in a bid to fulfil Prime Minster Narendra Modi’s Make in India dream have launched a 100% Make In India Linke Hofmann Busch (LHB) coaches.
Each and every component of the coach has been manufactured at the Integral Coach Factory at Chennai. The coaches have been allotted to Western Railways and the Railways has guaranteed passenger safety in these coaches.
Out of the two ‘Make in India’ coaches that have been rolled out by ICF, the non-AC one has 100% indigenous components. The AC coach has one imported component, the report added.
Given the spate of rail accidents over the last year, Indian Railways has decided to stop production of traditional ICF coaches in 2017. LHB coaches boast of stainless steel bodies and have anti-climbing features. This ensures that in case of a derailment, the coaches do not pile onto each other, hence making them safer. The LHB coaches also have a graduated release modular braking system the axle mounted disc brakes.
Earlier in the day, Union Minister for Railways Piyush Goyal spoke to a gathering regarding the modernisation of the railways and the necessity of passenger safety.
Speaking at the International Conference on Technological Advancements in Railway and Metro Projects, Goyal also said that budget allocations are a limitation and tend to hold back research and innovation.
“Personally, I believe a budget is a limitation, it holds you back. Allocation of a budget doesn’t allow scientists to flourish as he wants to. Budgets restrict innovation,” said Goyal as he called for out-of-the-box thinking to improve rail safety features like as signaling systems and fog vision for locomotive pilots.
The railways is embarking on a massive programme to ensure safety of the entire network, he said. “As much money as required is available for safety.
“I am not even saying it will be made available, I am saying it is available,” he said, adding that he cannot make the railways safe without new ideas and he hoped that the conference will help generate innovations.
Switch-over to LHB
Shailendra Singh, Chief Rolling Stock Engineer, Northern Railway, said a decision had been taken to produce 5,000 LHB coaches this year. At present, there are around 51,000 Integrated Coach Factory (ICF) coaches and 5,500 LHB coaches made in the Kapurthala factory.
“It has been decided to completely switch over to manufacture LHB coaches from April 1, 2018 onward,” he added.
Railways had already take a decision shift to LHB coaches, but increasing production requires a sharp ramp up from the present annual coach production target of 2,435. The vendor capacity also needs to be increased accordingly. Addressing the conference, Piyush Goyal, Minister of Railways and Coal, said: “We must work to see whether we can design better coaches, better locomotives, better signalling system and other related activity. We must explore cooperation with Military Engineering Service. Indian Railways need to work with commitment to make the railways safe, secure and to offer better amenities, riding comfort, punctuality and efficiency.”
‘Adopt latest tech’
Earlier in the day, Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu said Railways needed to plan for a massive expansion very meticulously with forward-looking, efficient technologies and innovative practices currently available across the globe and adopt them.
“Indian Railways will have to plan for this massive expansion meticulously. It will have to look for technologies and innovative practices currently available across the globe,” he said.