The Modern Coach Factory (MCF) has floated a Rs. 150 crore tender to buy technology and expertise to produce railways' first 'Make in India' international standard coaches for metro trains by 2021, according to sources.
The tender for transfer of technology for design, development, manufacturing, testing and maintenance of aluminium body passenger coaches for metro trains was floated by MCF, Raebareilly, last week.
'Currently, these coaches are being largely imported'
"We want to be part of the market to produce such coaches as we'll be able to cater to our cities that're increasingly expanding their travel-options. Currently, these coaches are being largely imported. We can make them at a much cheaper cost," the source said.
Tender will open this February. 2021: Target for first coach
"The tender will open 29 February, 2019 and by 2021 we should be able to produce the first such coach," said the source involved in the plans.
While coaches for Kolkata Metro are being manufactured at the Integral Coach Factory, Chennai, currently, those produced at MCF will be the first which will have international technology and design, thus making them far superior.
Production-cost will lessen by good margin if ordered in volumes
A senior official of railways said that approximately, the coaches currently procured from other countries cost between Rs. 8-9 crores while, the indigenously made coaches will cost around Rs. 7-8 crores, but will come down to around Rs. 4-6 crores if ordered in volumes.
Coaches at MCF will be manufactured by robots, said sources
According to data available with the Housing and Urban Affairs ministry, there are around 22 ongoing and under-construction Metro rail projects in Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai, Lucknow, Chennai, Nagpur, Pune, Kochi, Ahmedabad, Noida-Greater Noida, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Kolkata and Gurugram among others.
The coaches at MCF will be manufactured by robots and will be on par with those being manufactured by international manufacturers, the sources said.
'Coaches will be 40% cheaper than those procured from China'
"They will be 40% cheaper than those procured from China and other countries and will be equipped with WiFi, CCTV cameras, mobile charging outlets among other facilities," the source added.
In addition, they will also boast of safety features including communication based signalling, door control and train management systems along with modern surveillance gadgets aboard.
Railways has already pitched for standardization of metro coaches.
Bombardier, French Alstom, Kawasaki and Mitsubishi considered technology leaders
Apart from pitching for standardization, the railways has also issued a set of parameters for metro corporations to follow when they procure them. Companies like Bombardier, French Alstom, Japanese companies like Kawasaki and Mitsubishi are among those considered to be technology leaders in the field.