While comfortably enjoying your way across railway tracks in India, ever wondered how far we have come since the first railway coach was manufactured? Here is a look at some of the fabulous coaches which have come our way through the Integral Coach Factory.
The Integral Coach Factory, Chennai, got its name etched in history by rolling out its 50,000th coach and becoming the first rail coach manufacturing unit in the world to do so.
July 6th marked an important milestone for the manufacturing unit as Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu flagged off the 50,000th coach via video conferencing from New Delhi.
“There have been many changes in terms of quality, interior design, speed, fuel consumption, noise reduction in the coach manufacturing technology since the first coach was manufactured here 60 years ago,” said the minister.
Since its inauguration on October 2, 1955, the ICF has been building awesome coaches with many innovative steps taken all the way, and close to 500 designs have been tried out. It produces close to 2,000 coaches per year. Some of the remarkable building blocks included making cushioned seats in general second class coaches, provision of laptop and cell phone charging points in passenger coaches, disabled friendly features, and a lot more.
From it first coach, to the latest milestone, here is a look at ICF’s journey through some nostalgia-inducing pictures:
1. The first coach by the Integral Coach Factory.
Integral coach factory was established in 1952 and started production in 2 October 1955. The first items produced were third class shells for Southern Railway.
Source: Indian Railways Wiki
2. Double decker coaches manufactured during 1975.
3. Garib Rath coaches manufactured in 2006-2007.
4. India’s first air-conditioned Diesel Electric Multiple Unit (DEMU) train was launched in Kochi, with ICF manufactured coaches.
The AC coach has reclining-type comfortable cushion seats for 73 passengers and is equipped with bio-toilets and vestibules for free movement of passengers between coaches.
5. ICF also exports coaches to other countries including Thailand, Burma, Taiwan, Sri Lanka and more. This model placed in the Regional Rail Museum, Chennai, explains itself.
The route selected for this landmark move is the Rewari-Rohtak section of the Northern zone.
7. Model of a Kolkata Metro Coach by ICF.
8. Accident relief coaches and Accident Relief Medical Vans by ICF.
9. And of course, the 50,000th coach!
Chennai: Integral Coach Factory (ICF) rolled out its 50,000th coach yesterday pic.twitter.com/Cim1w1cec9
— ANI (@ANI_news) July 7, 2015
The next step from here is the plan to harness solar energy in the best way. As a trail for the same, Railways has rolled out a non-AC coach in the Rewari-Sitapur passenger train, which is lit by solar energy with the help of solar panels installed on the roof of the coach.
Here’s to the manufacturing unit which has been working hard to make our train travels comfortable and enjoyable since the past 60 years. Remember to give them a thought the next time you set foot on an Indian railway coach.