In a first, ICF rolls out two Vande Bharat trains in a month

Eastern Railway has prepared a list of 50 staff for maintenance of VB express from Howrah from December 30.
Vande Bharat train
Vande Bharat train

CHENNAI: In a first, ICF (Integral Coach Factory) has rolled out two Vande Bharat trains in a month ever since it commenced commercial production of the ‘indigenously’ built semi-high speed trains.

ICF dispatched the first VB rake of the month to South East Central railway zone for operation between Bilaspur and Nagpur earlier this month. The second train of the month would be rolled out to Eastern Railway for service between Howrah and New Jalpaiguri any time before Saturday.

The train to Eastern Railway would be the seventh to be manufactured so far by the factory, which has been suffering raw material shortage, mainly supply of bogies from Ukraine.

A circular issued by a deputy chief mechanical engineer of ICF on December 21 (copy available with DT Next) confirmed that the VB is scheduled to be dispatched on December 22 or 23 to Howrah, which was planned to be inaugurated by the Prime Minister on December 30.

Eastern Railway has prepared a list of 50 staff for maintenance of VB express from Howrah from December 30. A senior ICF officer who wished not to be named said that they managed to produce two rakes this month owing to a spurt in raw material supply.

“Supply of raw materials has been inconsistent. We managed to get some additional supply for this month. Hence, two rakes were rolled out this month. We are unsure if the supply would increase or decrease next month,” the officer explained.

Supply of bogies, which is a crucial component of the semi-high speed train capable of clocking up to 160 kmph, was affected as the vendor in Ukraine takes a circuitous route by road via Poland and then by sea to dispatch consignment to the factory in Chennai.

Notably, ICF has managed to manufacture only four rakes (16 coaches each) of Vande Bharat in the current fiscal beginning April 1, 2022.

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