The Integral Coach Factory is one of the earliest production units of independent India. It was inaugurated by the first Prime Minister of India Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru on 2nd October, 1955. Later the Furnishing Division was inaugurated on 2nd October, 1962 and the production of fully furnished coaches steadily increased over the years. Spread over nearly 473 acres, it has about 11,095 workers toiling in harsh conditions to make more than 2,000 coaches every year which includes conventional and self propelled coaches.
ICF is capable of manufacturing many types / variants simultaneously. Every year new variants are added to the product mix. ICF invented and experimented with new type coaches whether conventional, self propelled or special type coaches. ICF has produced more than 54131 coaches since its inception in approximately 500 different designs.
ICF has turned out a record outturn of 2277 coaches during the year 2016-17 consisting of more than 50 variants involving high technological inputs, meticulous planning and execution. The coaches includes 1,162 stainless steel coaches. ICF will completely switch over to manufacture of latest design, safer and faster stainless steel coaches from the next production year.
ICF had bagged the Railway Minister’s Shield for Environment for 2015-16. ICF secured Second prize in National Energy Conservation Award, 2016 under Hospital Sector. Chennai Rail Museum has seen extensive improvements and two more galleries added to showcase rich cultural heritage of Railways. Special emphasis has been given for Go Green movement and cleanliness, both inside factory premises and outside, and ICF has been rated as “GreenCo Silver” under GreenCo Rating System.
ICF has bagged an export order from Srilanka for supply of 78 DEMU coaches. ICF will also be manufacturing prestigious state of the art 160 kmph speed train set, called “Train-18”.
ICF is self sufficient in its energy requirements and is the only unit of Indian Railways meeting all its energy requirements through the renewable source of energy, the wind energy. ICF is a Zero discharge factory and also a ‘Green Workshop’. ICF has adopted an ‘Environment Policy’ to operate the factory in an environmental friendly manner for a safe, harmonious and ecologically balanced environment around it. ICF has introduced the Bio-discharge toilets in all the coaches turned out from ICF from April 2013.
Milestones of ‘Team ICF’
ICF had completed glorious 60 years since inception and celebrated Diamond Jubilee in the year 2015 and had turned out 50,000 coaches, the highest by any rail coach manufacturer in the world and thirdly, dedicated a new unit to the Nation with state-of-the-art infrastructure to manufacture stainless steel LHB coaches. These 50,000 coaches turned out by ICF contain product-mix of more than 500 variants out of which a sizable number were exported. Today, ICF is the forerunner in the manufacture of self-propelled coaches viz. EMU and DEMU in the country.
Production of indigenously manufactured all steel all welded railway coaches started in the year 1955 with an installed capacity of 350 coaches per annum. The production was steadily increased duly augmenting infrastructure over the years and 1000 coaches were turned out in 1990. ICF surpassed the magic figure of 2000 coaches in 2016.
In tune with the policy of IR to completely switch over to stainless steel body coaches, ICF is gearing up to modernize the infrastructure. The new unit set-up to manufacture stainless steel LHB coaches has a capacity to turn out 300 coaches a year. This unit has the state-of-the-art infrastructure like Robotic spot welding centre, Robotic MIG welding centre, 5-axis machining centre, Laser cutting cum welding machine, other CNC machines, jigs and fixtures to manufacture stainless steel coaches with precise quality. Under Complete Switchover Project CSP-1, two new bays of size are being added. This shall envisage additional 300 LHB coaches. Under CSP-2 ICF would convert its existing Shell Division from Corten steel car body making shop to Stainless steel car body making shop. This project shall start during the current year. Once completed, ICF would become a mega stainless steel coach manufacturing unit of IR.
Rolled out products:
This year saw the rolling out of ‘Deendayalu’ and ‘Antyodaya’ coaches from ICF. These are coaches announced in the Budget 2016 and are provided with improved amenities like water dispenser, mobile charging points, LED lights, additional hand holds, vestibules and with better interior ambiance. These are aimed at providing improved amenities to the common man. While Deendayalu is made as loose coaches on ICF conventional platform for mail-express train services, Antyodaya is meant to be run as a train capable of MU operation. The exterior of these coaches were given distinct colors and anti graffiti coating.
ICF started series manufacture of stainless steel 3-phase transmission DEMU train sets with 1600hp Emission Compliant Engines (EU stage IIIA standard) from 2015 after terminating the manufacture of conventional DC drive 1400hp DEMUs. ICF has also made 1600hp DEMU train sets during the current year. ICF continued its portfolio of other Diesel powered vehicles viz. SPART, JDCC (Jet Deflector Crane Car for Military) during the current year.
ICF has successfully completed the prestigious order of 72 train sets stainless steel 3-phase EMU coaches under MUTP-II project by Feb 2017. All these rakes are put into commercial service on the suburban section of Mumbai Western Railway. Plans are a foot at ICF to make more and more 3-phase EMU train sets for other metro suburban section such as Chennai, Kolkata and Delhi.
ICF is in the process of production of new generation metro coaches for Kolkata underground metro. These are 3-phase propulsion system based metro cars made on par with the other imported metro trains in India. Many new features like modular systems for brake and electrics, stainless stell aesthetic body, large gangways by using underslung inter vehicle couplers, plush interiors, diffused lighting are available in these coaches.
ICF has almost completed the Rs 250 Crores order from Ministry of Defence for manufacturing 40 AC two tier and 32 pantry (Langer) coaches. Balance coaches will also be turned out in the first quarter of 2017-18. ICF started the manufacture of Transview tourist coaches, one for J&K valley and two for Araku Valley with transparent roof glasses to enable panoramic view of the scenery. These glasses can be turned into opaque and transparent at the press of a switch. Rotatable seats provided in these coaches can be aligned to the direction of train.
To showcase Team ICF’s capability on technology front, a new train set ‘Train-18’ has been taken up for design and World-class, Aluminium body high speed train set called ‘Train -20’ will also be started. This will be the first-of-its-kind train set fully made in India when it rolls out from ICF in 2018. This fully air conditioned train set will contain self-propelled electrical multiple units running on undrslung 3-phase power packs. Best-in-class features like automatic plug doors, wider sound proof gangways, semi-permanent couplers, comfortable seating, infotainment, CCTV, fire detection systems, aerodynamically profiled driving ends and body will be incorporated.
ICF strongly believes in ‘Customer first’ approach. Several passenger and maintenance friendly initiatives are being done as part of continual improvement. Large windows for non-AC coaches, ergonomic hand holds, rubberised flooring, modular systems are some of them. ICF also bagged an order to export DEMU train sets to Srilanka for which design work has been taken up.
As always, Innovation Continues Forever at Team ICF.