Indian Railways will export 120 modern LHB coaches to Bangladesh at an estimated cost of Rs 367 crore, with the first consignment of 40 set to be dispatched in March.
This is the biggest-ever consignment of Linke Hofmann Busch (LHB) coaches to be exported by the Railways, said a senior Railway Ministry official.
The export order of 120 LHB coaches include 17 AC first class, 17 AC chair car, 34 non-AC chair car with pantry, 33 Non-AC chair car with prayer room and 19 power car coaches.
The manufacturing of stainless steel LHB broad gauge coaches for Bangladesh Railways is in progress at the Rail Coach Factory in Kapurthala.
“We will be sending the first consignment of 40 coaches by the end of next month and the remaining coaches will be delivered by next March,” said the official.
RCF Kapurthala is gaining a foothold in the export market.
Earlier also, RCF has exported coaches to South East Asian and African countries which have Metre Gauge rail networks and Indian Railway’s past experience in Meter Guage rolling stock has proves handy in serving these markets.
According to the official, the coaches are customised as per the requirements of Bangladesh Railway and have aesthetically designed interiors and equipped with latest technology.
The colour scheme has been suggested by Bangladesh Railways.
Export contracts are executed through RITES Ltd, a railways PSU. The contract agreement between RITES Ltd and Bangladesh Railways was executed on January 21, 2015, and subsequently between RITES Ltd and RCF on September 30, 2015 for supply of these coaches.
A high-level delegation from Bangladesh Railways, comprising Md Feroz Salah-ud Din, Secretary-in-Charge, Ministry of Railways, Bangladesh and other top RCF officials had visited Kapurthala factory last month for inspection of the coaches prior to the dispatch.