ICF and CII organise International Rail Coach Expo in Chennai
Integral Coach Factory (ICF), Perambur, Chennai, recently organised a first-ever International Rail Coach Expo (IRCE) in India, in partnership with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and RITES Ltd. The event which was inaugurated by Tamil Nadu Governor, Banwarilal Purohit, had 70 stalls featuring Indian and foreign players. He released a booklet, ‘New age coaches for a nation on move’ and the exhibition catalogue.
“Indian Railways will always be a part of nation-building, where it will enhance welfare, promote employment opportunities and engage in promoting economic activities. The railways have come a long way since the first train in the country. Now the railways employ more than 15 lakh people and carry around 8.9 million passengers. Introduction of new technologies like GPS tracking system will take it to greater heights,” the Governor said.
The focus of the first of its kind International Expo was on railway passenger coaches. The event provided a platform for different suppliers across the globe under one roof and paved the way for making in India. It had seminars on special subjects on rail coach and train sets.
ICF has so far manufactured 57,000 coaches, a world record.It makes every year 100 varieties of coaches. “This is the first time a focused event is being conducted. Over 80% of rail coaches running in India are manufactured by ICF. Every single EMU running in many cities were made by us. This year we have planned to make 3000 coaches compared to 2500 last year. It is true that a lot is to be done in the field of quality and technology. This is the occasion for us to explore,” ICF General Manager, S Mani, said.
The CII Southern Region Chairman, R Dinesh said, “The growth prospects in the coach making sector are high. Organisations like ICF do business of Rs 2,500 crore with the private sector and we hope that in the coming years there would be a five-fold growth in this area.”
The Railway Board Chairman, Ashwani Lohani, who was also present at the event, said the Indian Railways was witnessing a lot of changes. “Introduction of high-speed trains, coaches with modern features and safety aspects would offer a new experience to people. The foundation for the high-speed train in Ahmedabad marks a paradigm shift in passenger experience,” he said.