The Modern Coach Factory is planning to ramp up its production capacity from 1000 coaches per annum to 2000 coaches and has proposed an investment of Rs 480 crore for the expansion, a senior railway official said.
The plan which is currently awaiting the sanction of the Railway Board, the official said, is to reach the target of 2000 coaches per year by 2020-2021.
"As of now, we do not have sufficient coaches for our spare rakes for existing trains for running new trains. Once this goes through more coaches will be available to us and we will be able to replace the old coaches with the new ones," Member Engineering, Rajesh Agarwal, who was previously MCF General Manager, told PTI explaining the need to ramp up production at the factory.
MCF has increased production exponentially to 368 coaches in first four months of 2018-19, which is almost equal to the sum total of coaches manufactured in first four months of last four years (i.e., in 16 months) and approximately double the number of coaches manufactured in same period of last year.
From January to March this year, MCF manufactured 229 coaches to surpass the target of 2017-18 with total production of the year as 711 against target of 710.
The factory is also set to launch its Make in India' smart coaches with new features like black box and artificial intelligence (AI)-powered CCTVs, matching international standards.
Named Smart Trains', the coaches have been equipped with sensors that can detect defects on bearings, wheels, and the railway track, giving constant inputs to those in the control room to avoid accidents, carry out maintenance, and to improve efficiency of operations, the official said.
The maiden smart coach was unveiled last month. It was the part of launching 100 such trains in a pilot project to improve the safety and security of commuters, and to boost efficiency.
The project is expected to roll out in December with five such rakes.
The official further said that blueprints have already been prepared to increase production to 3000 coaches in the coming years.
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