Indian Railways set to export customised ‘Make in India’ coaches to Mozambique! In a first for the Modern Coach Factory (MCF) Raebareli, the Indian Railways coach manufacturing facility will export 90 coaches to South Africa’s Mozambique through RITES. Talking about the special project, an MCF official told Financial Express Online that the first batch of coaches will be rolled out by September this year. “We will roll out the 90 coaches in three batches of 30 each,” the MCF official said, adding that these coaches would be of “cape” gauge, which is a variant in between broad and meter gauge.
Indian Railways will customise the coaches in terms of gauge, length and interiors to suit the needs of Mozambique railways. MCF will ‘Make in India’ coaches of all varieties for Mozambique – AC First class, AC 2nd class, AC 3rd class, pantry cars, generator cars, non-AC restroom cars etc. The coaches for Mozambique will be of 1,067 mm cape gauge and the length will be shorter compared to the Indian Railways LHB coaches. According to the official quoted above, MCF hopes to complete the export order by end of March 2020. “We are finalising the details of the design, then tenders will be floated and work will start,” the official said.
According to MCF officials, it is early to put an estimate on the cost of manufacturing these coaches. “An LHB coach costs around Rs 2.2 crore on an average, but given that the Mozambique coaches will be shorter in length and of cape gauge, the cost should be less than Rs 2 crore per coach,” the official said.
A team of officials from Mozambique railways recently visited MCF, Rae Bareli and the Indian Railways coach factory noted the specifications of the order. “We will use the same platform as the one for Indian Railways but there will be changes in the gauge and the length, so an entirely new design will be prepared for these world-class coaches,” RP Sharma, CPRO of MCF told Financial Express Online.
Indian Railways is betting big on MCF to manufacture state-of-the-art modern world-class coaches with the help of advanced robotics. Modi government in its Budget for 2018-2019 had sanctioned Rs 480 crore to augment the production capacity of MCF from 1,000 to 3,000 per year by the end of 2020-2021. The national transporter is also hoping to transfer the technology for manufacturing Train 18 or Vande Bharat Expres-type train sets from ICF to MCF, so that the production for these next-generation rakes can be scaled up.