Vande Bharat manufacturing on fast track at ICF, Chennai: Railway minister

Vande Bharat manufacturing is on a fast track at the Integral Coach Factory (ICF) in Chennai, Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw has said while on a visit to the factory. Vaishnaw also flagged off the 12,000th LHB coach at the factory and reviewed the station redevelopment plan for Chennai Egmore, the railway ministry said in a statement of Friday.

The first Vande Bharat Express train was flagged off on February 15, 2019 on the New Delhi-Kanpur-Allahabad-Varanasi route. Speed, safety and service are the hallmarks of this train. The ICF, Chennai, a railways’ production unit, has been the force behind a completely in-house design and manufacture, computer modelling and working with a large number of suppliers for system integration in just 18 months.

At the Egmore railway station in Chennai, Vaishnaw inspected the facilities and reviewed the masterplan of the redevelopment project. He discussed in detail about the proposed redevelopment plan for the station and the facilitation of inter-modal connectivity with the Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL).

Talking to reporters, the minister said, “Prime Minister Narendra Modi has the vision of transforming the Indian Railway as he believes that the transformation of the Indian Railway will pave the way for a transformation of the Indian Economy. The redevelopment of various categories of stations is part of that vision.”

He said the Egmore station will be redeveloped while duly maintaining its heritage and simultaneously, revamping its amenities at par with world-class standards.

Upon redevelopment, the station will become a hub of economic activity. It will also be the second-largest terminal of the Southern Railway, housing world-class amenities and airport-like features such as separate arrival and departure corridors, bright illumination and hassle-free access to platforms by escalators, elevators and skywalks.

During his visit, Vaishnaw applauded the efforts of the “Avishkar Hyperloop”, a passionate students-led team at the IIT-Madras that is committed to changing the future of mobility in India by developing scalable hyperloop technologies.

Hyperloop is a new innovative mode of transport that disrupts the paradigm of conventional transport where speed and comfort are carbon-heavy. It is a transportation solution for a sustainable, fast and connected future with a minimal carbon footprint. The concept is based on levitating pods travelling at near-sonic speeds in vacuum tubes built between cities.

The Indian Railways has joined hands with the IIT-Madras to indigenously develop a hyperloop technology-based transportation system that runs faster than bullet trains and has a considerably low operating cost. The railways will extend financial support of Rs 8.34 crore to IIT-Madras for the project.


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