August 10, 2022

Indian Railways Prepares for Mass Production of Axles and Wheels for LHB Wagons and Coaches

With increasing orders for manufacturing of coaches and wagons in the current fiscal year, Indian Railways has prepared to meet domestic market demand for wheels and axles in addition to seeking rapid supply in China.

While a Hong Kong-based company with a Chinese link was awarded the contract to supply 30,000 wagon axles, the railways had also asked Mishra Dhatu Nigam Ltd (Midhani) to manufacture 400 LHB axles for a cost estimated at Rs 31,565,100.

SAIL’s steel plant in Durgapur (DSP) has also been asked to produce as many wheels for cars and locomotives.

DSP’s Wheel and Axle Factory, which manufactures wheels for railway cars, rose to the challenge and managed to successfully develop LHB car wheels in accordance with stringent railway norms and standards. .

These were found to have no rejection during ultrasonic testing and the wheels were also of excellent quality, Ministry of Railways sources said.

In addition to DSP’s wheel and axle plant, the railways contracted Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Ltd, a subsidiary of the Ministry of Steel, to manufacture forged wheels for LHB coaches as well as high-speed trains. semi-high speed like the Vande Bharat Express.

The state-owned company RINL in Rae Bareli has already manufactured around 854 locomotive wheels this year and steps are being taken to produce LHB wheels as well.

According to the Railways, the prototype of the LHB wheel is under development at the Ministry of Steel plant. The prototype would undergo testing by the RDSO before being cleared for mass production.

Since the design and size are different for LHB cars, it is necessary to get RDSO approval, Railways said.

Keeping in mind the increase in the ordering of rolling stock, the railways are also exploring the private sector for the manufacture of wheels and axles. Some private companies have also been invited to explore the wheel market in line with the Make-in India initiative.

Capacity at the wheel factory in Bangalore has also been increased to meet the growing demand for axles and wheels. However, the railways are now focusing on Vande Bharat trains and these units did not have the capacity to manufacture so many in the time available.

According to the railways, the move aims to ensure that 2.5 lakh wheels for the 400 Vande Bharat Express trains will be produced over the next three years.

Since the contract has been awarded to the private actors for the Vande Bharat trains, it is up to them to arrange the wheels and axles.

Recently, 128 wheels needed for the Vande Bharat train trials were airlifted from Romania to Chennai and then sent to Hyderabad. The railways had previously awarded a tender to TZ for the supply of wheels.

The Durgapur Steel Plant has already produced 45,000 forged wheels for the railway’s LHB coaches and will now use the approved design to manufacture wheels for Vande Bharat Express trains.

The railways plan to purchase around 90,000 wagons and 400 Vande Bharat trains over the next three years, in addition to around 7,000 LHB coaches in the current financial year.

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