Railways, BHEL join for coach factory
New Delhi, Feb 25 : Indian Railways and Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL) Monday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for setting up of Greenfield MEMU coaches manufacturing facility by BHEL at Bhilwara in Rajasthan, in the presence of Union Railways Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal and Minister for Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises Praful Patel here.
The signatories to the MOU were Member Electrical Railway Board, Kul Bhushan and CMD, BHEL B P Rao.
According to official sources, Main Line Electric Multiple Unit Trains, popularly known as MEMU trains were first introduced in Indian Railways in the Year 1994-95, as a mode of rapid transit system, to cater to non-suburban passengers, residing in small towns and villages surrounding urban and industrial centers.
These rakes are now being manufactured with toilet facilities to take care of passenger needs. MEMU trains increase the line capacity utilization, and therefore are more suitable for running on high traffic density routes, said officials.
The Indian Railways stated that currently, there are about 160 MEMU services running and the demand for these coaches will further increase as Indian Railways have plans to Electrify approximately 15000 route kilometers during the next 10 years, in addition to the existing 22000 route kilometers of electrified track.
There was a shortfall in the acquisition of 800 MEMU coaches during the XIth Plan Period due to capacity constraints at Rail Coach Factory, Kapurthala, where these MEMU coaches are produced.
Official sources said that it is expected that the requirement of MEMU coaches will grow to nearly 9000 coaches during the next 10 year period. Setting up of factory for conventional MEMU coaches will go a long way in meeting this demand.
The entire cost of the proposed facility for production of MEMU coaches will be borne by BHEL.
Officials said that the Rajasthan government will provide land to Railways for setting up the project. In order to make the project viable, Ministry of Railways will give Assured Off-Take orders to BHEL.