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 511 acres, it has more than 9500 employees to turnout more than 4000 coaches every year which includes conventional and self propelled coaches, in LHB and other designs.
ICF has the capability of designing and developing any variant with in-house facility. Every year, new variants are added to the product mix. ICF continues to experiment with design & development of new type coaches such as self propelled and other special type coaches.
Growth by leaps and bounds:
Production of indigenously manufactured all-steel all-welded railway shells started in the year 1955 with an installed capacity of 350 numbers per annum. The production was steadily increased duly augmenting infrastructure over the years and 1000 coaches were turned out for the first time in 1990. ICF has surpassed the magic figure of 4000 (4166) coaches in 2019-20. Despite COVID restrictions, ICF has overcome the hurdles and turned out 1954 coaches for the production year 2020-21. These includes 13 state-of-the-art NMR coaches, 7 Vistadome tourist coaches, 1209 LHB Coaches, 4 rakes for Kolkata Metro and 34 rakes of MEMU.
Railway Board is planning to operate MEMU (Mainline Electrical Multiple Unit) trains between the cities to relieve the locos which can be put for other main line operations and to save engine turnaround time. The new MEMU trains have been fitted with bio-toilets and will serve distances of 300 to 500 kilometres at about 100 kmph. Unlike regular trains, MEMU train sets require maintenance only once in every 10-15 days. The main advantage of MEMU trains is that they allow for faster acceleration and deceleration. In specific, during the month of December 2020, ICF has manufactured 9 state of the art III phase Main Electric Multiple Units, which is the highest ever outturn of this type of rakes in a month by any Production unit of Indian Railways. ICF is planning to turnout more MEMUs in the coming years.
ICF has exported more than 650 coaches, shells and components to countries such as Thailand, Burma, Taiwan, Zambia, Philippines, Tanzania, Uganda, Vietnam, Nigeria, Bangladesh, Mozambique, Malaysia, Angola and Sri Lanka which also includes exports of shells and coach components. ICF has already dispatched one rake against the order of two rakes of 1600 HP DEMU for Nepal Railways. Recently, ICF has exported 77 mainline coaches for Sri Lanka against the total order of 160 coaches.
ICF – Green Producer:
ICF is known for its efforts in the eco – preservation front be it creation of exclusive green forests in the ICF surroundings, installation of windmills and solar panels for generation of electricity. ICF is a Zero discharge factory and also a ‘Green Workshop’. ICF has developed Green houses in its premises, where it would develop saplings and it is supported by a Poly House where the seeding process for the saplings would be undertaken. ICF has become the only organization in Indian Railways to have completely neutralized green house gas emission due to its industrial activity and achieved Carbon Negative status.
Milestones of ‘Team ICF’:
ICF had completed glorious 65 years since inception and has turned out more than 65,000 coaches, the highest by any rail coach manufacturer in the world. Today, ICF is the front runner in the manufacture of self-propelled coaches viz. EMU, MEMU, SPART, OHE Tower car, SPIC and DEMU in the country. In 2018-19, ICF took a giant leap by rolling out India’s first semi high speed train set, Train 18 (Vande Bharat Express) that was flagged off by our Hon’ble Prime Minister of India from New Delhi to Varanasi. The second rake of Vande Bharat Express was also turned out by ICF during May, 2019. The 16 coach semi-high speed Trainset with 80% indigenous inputs manufactured by ICF under “Make in India” project consists of 16 coaches and is designed for Maximum Operating speed of 160 kmph.
ICF had bagged the prestigious EN 15085 certificate for specific welding standard for manufacturer of railway vehicles and components. ICF is the first Production unit of Indian Railways to acquire such certification. This is another jewel in the crown of ICF.
ICF rolled out two new design Vistadome tourist coach built on LHB platform which had successfully completed 180 KMPH oscillation trials and Hon’ble Prime Minister of India has launched the Jan Shatabdi express between Kevadia and Ahmedabad attached with the vistadome coach. Squeeze test for the vistadome shells was earlier done successfully at ICF.