Celebrated as India’s fastest train and one of the most successful products of the ‘Make in India’ initiative, future production of the indigenously-built Train 18 — helmed by the Integral Coach Factory (ICF) in Chennai — has come under a cloud, thanks to an unresolved turf battle.While the first train set, christened the Vande Bharat Express and flagged off by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has been running successfully for over 16 hours a day between New Delhi and Varanasi since February 2019, a spat over protocol among officers of the Mechanical and Electrical departments in the Railways, has hit production of the semi high-speed train.The ICF, the world’s largest rail coach manufacturing unit, rolled out the Train 18 with a maximum operating speed of 160 kmph in a record time of just 18 months in 2018. The self-propelled train set, comprising 16 air-conditioned coaches, was built at a cost of ₹100 crore, about half the cost of importing such a rake, with about 80% indigenous components in alignment with the Prime Minister’s call for ‘Make in India’. The indigenous design and development was done by an in-house team of the ICF led by then General Manager Sudanshu Mani, Principal Chief… Read full this story
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