Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu today flagged off the all new Medha rake that comes under country’s first ‘Make in India’ EMU rake for suburban travel on Western Railways. Soon after giving a green signal to the train, Prabhu took to Twitter and said “1/ At Mumbai today to dedicate a host of amenities, services, Rail Infra to the nation from Lokmanya Tilak Terminus. 2/Flagged off new Miraj-Solapur Express.Will give boost to Rail Connectivity in the region, provide convenience to people.” Manufactured by the Integral Coach Factory (ICF) Chennai, the rake has a special indigenous 3 phase propulsion system. Earlier EMUs of Indian Railways have systems from either Bombardier or Siemens.
The rake is special as it will save foreign exchange worth 50 lakh USD per EMU rake along with 25 per cent saving in the cost of manufacture. Maximum speed of the rake is 105 km/ hour. The manufacturing cost of these rakes is also said to be lower because of this reason. The cost of a single rake with 12 coaches is Rs 43.23 crore.
Watch Suresh Prabhu flagging off Medha- The Make in India EMU rake:
— Western Railway (@WesternRly) March 18, 2017
The Railway Minister also flagged off the inaugural run of Antyodaya Express between Lokmanya Tilak and Tatanagar. On the occasion, Prabhu said, “Our unreserved passengers should also get access to best-in-class amenities. Antyodaya, an unreserved New Train Product with enhanced amenities.” Prabhu also announced fast WiFi services at Surat, Rajkot, Indore, Solapur and Gulbarga stations.
— Suresh Prabhu (@sureshpprabhu) March 18, 2017
The rake is fitted with a “high power fully Made in India” 3-phase propulsion system. The rake is powered by Hyderabad-based firm Medha Servo Drives. For this reason, is commonly known as the ‘Medha’ rake. The rake has in-built systems to minimise breakdowns during travel. The rake can travel at speeds up to 110 kmph. The first-class coaches have cushioned seats, while the second-class seats are of stainless steel. According to ICF, the luggage racks are user-friendly.
The stainless steel coaches have easy to slide and light weight doors with ‘user friendly’ locking arrangement. ICF has also provided LED-based lighting for better illumination and energy conservation. ICF claims that the ergonomically profiled seats and air suspension system provide for better passenger comfort. GPS based information systems with audio visual indication of stations is yet another facility of these rakes. The rake has modular roof-mounted forced ventilation system which supplies 16000 cubic m/hr fresh air into the passenger area.