Vande Bharat on slower track as war hits ICF
CHENNAI: The Russia-Ukraine war has taken a toll on the production of Vande Bharat trains, the prestigious high-speed express, as the manufacturer, Integral Coach Factory (ICF), Perambur, has been facing production delays due to the disruption in the supply of a crucial component from Ukraine.
Before the war broke out, the bogies (the undercarriage with wheels at the ends), used to be shipped directly from Ukraine. However, since the onset of the war in February, they are being taken by road to Poland, from where the bogies are brought to Chennai by sea, highly placed ICF sources disclosed to DT Next.
“Unlike in the past, we are not receiving bulk supply of bogies. They come through Poland, which consumes additional time. The circuitous route has also increased the cost of logistics. Also, the number of bogies supplied has also come down due to the war,” said the official on condition of anonymity.
The Railway Ministry’s attempt to find an alternative supplier also did not help, as China is the only other supplier of such bogies. “There is some apprehension in sourcing the bogies from China. Cost is another deterrent, as no other vendor supplies the bogies at the cost offered by Ukraine. So, identifying an alternative supplier is not easy,” said an official, remaining tightlipped on the extent of delay that this has caused.
Sources added that it was the Railway Board that finalises vendors and it was not possible for the ICF here to explore alternatives.