BEML to manufacture LHB coaches

BEML to manufacture LHB coaches

Production will begin at its Bengaluru factory this year

The Bharat Earth Movers Limited (BEML), a PSU under the defence ministry, is gearing up to manufacture and supply Linke-Hoffman-Busch (LHB) Coach shells and bogies which are considered to be safer than existing rail coaches, during the current financial year. 

The Bengaluru-based company has received developmental orders for supply of 20 sets of LHB coach shells and bogies from the Indian Railways. "Sub-urban trains are also graduating to IGBT-based 3 phase electrics and BEML is geared up to supply first set of Main Line Electric Multiple Units during the current year," said Deepak K Hota, chairman and managing director, BEML.

The LHB coaches are designed for increasing the train speed. They are the new generation passenger coaches of the Indian Railways that have been developed by Linke-Hofmann-Busch of Germany. They have in-built anti-collision devices, which cause fewer fatalities.

The BEML will focus on emerging new business opportunities, including medium/high-speed coaches and also develop new products and aggregates to align with the market requirements, Hota said. 

Maintenance equipment requirements are also increasing for overhead inspection cars, track laying, rail grinding and track cleaning machines, he said.

In rail and Metro segments, BEML has been executing Metro rail projects in multiple cities in India and is presently executing orders from Bangalore and Kolkata Metro corporations. For the financial year ended March 2018, BEML achieved a record production and sales of 244 Metro cars and registered a growth of 114% over the previous year.

It recorded an all-time high revenue of Rs 3,246 crore for the year ended March 2018, recording a robust 30% growth over the previous year. 

The Railways is graduating to medium/high-speed coaches/LHB coaches. As per ICEMA Report, the Railways is likely to invest Rs 50,000 crore to upgrade the suburban train networks of Mumbai and Bengaluru. For Bengaluru, a 160 km network is being planned. 

"It is worth to mention that we have received the developmental orders for supply of LHB coaches. We are also geared up to supply first set of Main Line Electric Multiple units during the current year," Hota said in a report to shareholders.

The company will focus on emerging new business opportunities and also develop new products/aggregates to align with the market requirements. The company has plans to grow in each of its vertical by expanding the business by adding products and new territories. Further, BEML would pursue business generation through new allied products like medium/high-speed coaches, intermediate Metro cars, overhauling of recovery vehicles, and mine ploughs, among others.

A year ago, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal had said that the ministry would stop inducting the relatively unsafe coaches made by Integral Coach Factory (ICF) by the middle of 2018, while the production of safer LHB coaches would be multiplied. 

As compared to coaches made by ICF, the LHB design coaches are lighter in weight. They also have higher carrying capacity as well as higher speed potential.

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