India set to become exporter of forged wheels used in railways: Ashwini Vaishnaw – ET Auto


The plant will have the capacity to produce 2.5 lakh wheels, of which 80,000 will be used in India and the remaining 1.70 lakh will be exported,

Sixty to seventy years after being an importer of forged wheels used in the railways, India is all set to become an exporter of the train component, Union Minister of Railways Ashwini Vaishnaw said here on Thursday.

The minister, who also holds the portfolio of Electronics and Information Technology, was here to inaugurate the Chennai Design Centre of US-based semiconductor manufacturer Qualcomm, when he said that construction activities for setting up a plant to produce forged wheels for the railways has commenced in Tamil Nadu.

The railways has entered into a joint venture with Ramakrishna Forgings Ltd to set up the manufacturing facility at Gummidipoondi near Chennai, at an outlay of INR 650 crore in the first phase.

“As you are aware, Vande Bharat trains have been very successful. The wheels that are used in Vande Bharat trains are of special quality. They undergo a special manufacturing process. The wheels that we use in the wagons undergo a casting process,” he told reporters.

“The factory to produce the forged wheels is now being set up. Construction has started. The plant will have the capacity to produce 2.5 lakh wheels, of which 80,000 will be used in India and the remaining 1.70 lakh will be exported,” he said.

“For 60-70 years, India was an importer of forged wheels. India will now emerge as a major exporter of forged wheels. I am very happy that this plant is being set up in Tamil Nadu, and in another 16-18 months, the production will start.” he said.

Similarly, Vaishnaw said, the Integral Coach Factory here would also develop standard gauge Vande Bharat trains.

“Standard gauge rakes are used all over the world. So, when we are thinking of exporting Vande Bharat trains few years down the line, we must have the development of standard gauge Vande Bharat trains today,” he said.

Designing and testing of standard gauge Vande Bharat trains need to be done, after which national and international approvals need to be obtained before they can be formally launched, he added, saying it will take some time.

“It is a very big and tedious process. But if we start today, in five years from now, we will have a good standard gauge product which will be ready for exports. I am very happy that these two developments will be done out of Tamil Nadu,” the railway minister said.

The Integral Coach Factory here has achieved the distinction of producing over 73,700 coaches since its inception in 1955 which is the highest by any passenger coach manufacturer in the world. ICF has exported more than 875 coaches and components to Thailand, Burma, Taiwan, Zambia, Vietnam and other countries totalling about INR 1,004 crore of trade.

  • Published On Mar 14, 2024 at 04:30 PM IST

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