21 June 2015


Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu, Hon’ble Union Minister of Railways flagged off partially air-conditioned diesel train set special services at Ernakulam Junction railway station today (21.06.2015).  The train was flagged off in the presence of Shri Aryadan Muhammed, Hon’ble Minister for Power, Govt. of Kerala.  Shri Tony Chammany, Hon’ble Mayor of Kochi and Prof. K.V. Thomas, Hon’ble MP graced the occasion as distinguished guests.  Shri Hibi Eden, MLA was present as the guest of honour.

            Shri Ashok K. Agarwal, General Manager, Southern Railway welcomed the gathering and Shri Sunil Bajpai, Divisional Railway Manager, Thiruvananthapuram Division delivered the vote of thanks.  Senior railway officials and railway men participated in the function.

            Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu, Hon’ble Union Railway Minister, while addressing the gathering said that cleanliness in railway statons and trains will be given much importance.  The train services being flagged off today will be very beneficial to the people of Ernakulam and the surrounding region.

            Southern Railway has been catering to the ever-increasing demands of passenger traffic by introducing new trains, increasing the frequency of existing trains, extension of train routes and augmentation of the carrying capacity of trains.  Southern Railway is a passenger oriented railway and continuously strives to improve its services and efficiency.  This zonal railway takes numerous initiatives to provide comfortable journeys to its passengers, enhance the safety and security of its passengers and to improve cleanliness in railway premises and o­nboard trains.

            The partially air-conditioned diesel train set special services being flagged off today has been manufactured by the Integral Coach Factory, Chennai.  ICF is a premier Production Unit of Indian Railways manufacturing Train Sets and Passenger Coaches.  In fact, ICF is the largest builder of Electrical & Diesel powered Train Sets in the world.  ICF’s business span covers Design, Development and Manufacture of various types of railway coaches for Indian Railways, non railway customers and for export.  ICF has developed and manufactured over 500 different designs since inception and will be rolling out the 50,000th coach by the end of June, 2015.  The first ICF manufactured coach was turned out o­n 02.10.1955 and was flagged off by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India.

            ICF has been manufacturing Diesel Train Sets (also called DEMU – Diesel Electrical Multiple Unit) since 1994 to meet the inter-city traffic requirements.  Initially, 700 HP DEMU train sets consisting of 6 coaches were made.  To improve throughput and speed of DEMU trains, 1400 HP Power Cars were introduced in the year 2000.  190 nos. of 1400 HP DEMUs have been manufactured so far.  These DEMUs are manufactured with AC- DC transmission i.e. the AC produced by the power pack (Engine – Alternator) is rectified to DC for powering DC traction motors fitted in bogies.

            For the first time, ICF has manufactured the 1400 HP DEMU train set with air-conditioned trailer coach.  This AC coach provides reclining type comfortable cushion seats for 73 passengers similar to the air-conditioned chair cars of intercity express trains.  The AC units are powered by self-generating equipment provided in the bogies of this coach.  The air-conditioned compartment is separated from the non-AC area with inter-communication doors.  The chairs are provided in 2 x 3 configuration in a row.  Other coaches of the DEMU trains are provided with bench type cushion seats and large windows with glass shutters.  The train is equipped with environment friendly bio-toilets and is fully vestibuled for free movement of passengers between the coaches.

            The train that is being flagged off today will provide additional services to the people of Ernakulam and the surrounding region.  These services will be between Ernakulam Jn. – Tripunittura, Tripunittura – Alwaye, Alwaye – Ernakulam Jn., Ernakulam Jn. – Angamali for Kaladi, Angamali for Kaladi – Piravam Road and Piravam Road – Ernakulam Jn.  As these train services come with partially air-conditioned accommodation, passengers can enjoy comfortable rides, too.  This is yet another dimension of Southern Railway, which always strives to improve its standards and provide better services to its passengers and customers.