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Railway coach making chugs past slowdown

The Indian Railways manufactured 4,182 coaches till the end of October 2019, officials said, against 3,241 units built a year ago. The production target for 2019-20 is 8,026 units and 5,771 of these are to be Linke Hoffmann Busch (LHB) coaches.

, ET Bureau|
Updated: Nov 07, 2019, 03.27 PM IST
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Agencies
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The production units have manufactured 3,235 LHB coaches so far.
NEW DELHI: The rolling stock production units of the Indian Railways seem to have beaten the slowdown in manufacturing activities with 50% of the target for the fiscal year achieved by the end of the second quarter.

The Indian Railways manufactured 4,182 coaches till the end of October 2019, officials said, as against 3,241 units built a year ago. The production target for 2019-20 is 8,026 units and 5,771 of these are to be Linke Hoffmann Busch (LHB) coaches.

The production units have manufactured 3,235 LHB coaches so far. “The LHB coach production is on fast track, while manufacturing in other sectors of the economy is down,” a railway board official said, refusing to be identified.

Data accessed by ET shows that the Indian Railways has to replace around 45,000 conventional Integral Coach Factory (ICF) carriages with LHB coaches in five to seven years. “All mainline mail trains will be replaced with LHB coaches,” the official said.

The railways ramped up production and use of LHB coaches as these are lighter and are able to withstand accidents better, ensuring passenger safety. As of September, 15,070 LHB coaches have been manufactured and 529 rakes are running with LHB coaches.

The LHB coaches will help the railways raise the average velocity of passenger trains to around 160 km per hour (kmph) for their better speed potential.

The national transporter plans to discontinue ICF coaches at the end of 20 years of use, instead of 25 years now, so that they could be replaced with LHB coaches faster. “The railway board chairman is yet to accept this recommendation, but once it is formalised, we will be able to ensure a rapid switch to LHB coaches,” the official quoted above said.

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