India’s Integral Coach Factory (ICF), the railways’ premier coach manufacturing unit, has rolled out a special rake of diesel electric multiple unit (DEMU) with an aerodynamic nose and rotatable seats akin to Train-18 for Sri Lanka, the Times of India reported.
The unit is ready to be shipped to the island nation, sources said. TOI got an exclusive sneak peek of the rake on Friday.
The train can travel at a maximum speed of 100kmph and can accommodate around 800 passengers. It will be earning valuable foreign exchange for the country.
Considering the highly corrosive environment on the island, the DEMU trains have been designed with anticorrosive features using a special paint and a greater amount of stainless steel in the body, an ICF official said. Six such rakes will roll out.
“In the past, we faced criticism in respect of interiors and exteriors as well as reliability, when compared to international manufacturers. We employed an expert design team to deliver a better product this time,” Sudhanshu Mani, ICF general manager, told TOI. The DEMU is powered with a 1800HP on board engine with a three-phase AC transmission system that requires less maintenance.
The stainless steel body with corten steel underframe is like the Linke Hoffman Busche (LHB) coaches of Germany, officials said.
Each DEMU rake will consist of 13 cars in a combination of two driving power cars with economy class seating (DPC), two driving trailer cars with economy class seating (DTC), two air-conditioned chair cars, two business class chair cars (equivalent to 1st class in suburban trains), and 5 economy class coaches (equivalent to second class seating cars in suburban trains).
ICF has been exporting coaches and coach components to countries such as Malaysia, Philippines, Taiwan, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Mozambique, Angola, Nigeria and Uganda since the 1971-72 period. Recently, the factory based in Chennai’s Permabur bagged an order for export of six DEMU rakes consisting of 78 coaches in five variants.
According to railway officials, DEMUs are used for short and medium distance travel on non-electrified sections. RITES Ltd., an engineering consultancy company, and ICF are jointly executing this export order to the island nation under an India-Sri Lanka economic cooperation agreement.
The last order for export of coaches to Sri Lanka for supply of 120 coaches (in six coach formation of 20 rakes) was fulfilled in 2010-12, an ICF official said. (Colombo Gazette)