First coach from Rae Bareli by May-end

Railways

The Rae Bareli Rail Coach Factory which, according to Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee will roll out the first coach in three months, will in the first phase finish and furnish coach shells obtained from the Kapurthala factory. In fact, it has already received the first two shells.

The factory's finishing shop would be ready next week, and the furnishing shop in April. Officials expect the first coach to roll out by end of May.

Alok Johri, the factory's Chief Administrative Officer, said all coach factories begin with finishing and furnishing of the readymade shells. "Our target was October 2011 but after speeding up the work, we will achieve this much before".

In the second phase, which is expected to be completed in December 2012, the factory will start manufacturing of shells. Production of complete coaches, with trolleys and wheels, will begin in the third phase which will be completed in December 2013, said Johri.

The factory would manufacture state-of-art LHB design (Linke Holfmann Bush) coaches that are used in Rajdhani and Shatabdi trains. Initially, it would make five coaches a month. When the factory is ready, it would be making 1,000 coaches every year. The total investment is an estimated Rs 2,000 crore.

Initially, the factory would make a mix of AC 3-tier, AC 2-tier, Chair Car and Executive Chair Car coaches. The RCF at Kapurthala recently started manufacturing these coaches, along with an old-design coaches. RCF Rae Bareli would manufacture only the new-technology LHB coaches, the design for which has been imported from Germany.

The foundation of the project was laid by Congress president Sonia Gandhi and the then Union Railways Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav at Lalganj in 2007. Originally, it was expected to start production in 2009, but the state government refused to handover189 hectare land, which was identified for the project, days before Sonia Gandhi was to perform "Bhumi Pujan" at the site.

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