Integral Coach Factory builds AC DEMU coaches for Sri Lanka
CHENNAI: Even as the Indian Railways is yet to introduce air-conditioned DEMU and MEMU trains on inter-city routes, the Integral Coach Factory in Chennai has manufactured the first-ever AC DEMU train sets. As many as 16 coaches, which form two sets of AC Diesel-Electric Multiple Unit (DEMU), were produced by ICF and exported to Sri Lanka recently.
“A few years ago, the ICF bagged the order for manufacturing AC DEMU for passenger trains in Sri Lanka. We have recently exported the coaches,” said a senior official from ICF. The ICF has also despatched 140 mainline coaches for passenger trains to Sri Lanka this year. These coaches are equipped with all modern facilities on board, alike the coaches of the Vande Bharat Express operated in India.
The AC DEMU trains can be operated on suburban and short distance inter-city routes. Each DEMU train set consists of three types of coaches — AC class, non-AC business class and general class. “All the coaches have fans, a public information system backed by GPS, screwless panelling, and an interior made of stainless steel,” added the official.
The ICF had also received an order from Sri Lanka Railways for the supply of 160 mainline passenger coaches, a few years ago. The facilities in these coaches include a slip-free flooring, sealed gangways, CCTV, and double-leaf sliding doors. The body of the coaches are made of stainless steel.
“Unlike the Train 18 (Vande Bharat Express) train-set that has inbuilt driver cabin, these mainline coaches will be hauled by a diesel locomotive since a large section of Sri Lanka’s railway line is yet to be electrified. As on December 30, we have despatched 145 coaches to Sri Lanka and the remaining will be sent by January 2022,” added the ICF official.