The clarion call of becoming Atmanirbhar Bharat, India is moving forward in not just reducing its import dependence by establishing domestic capacity, but also exporting Made-in-India products all over the world.
Where on one hand Indian Railways is taking the Atmanirbhar initiative ahead by producing indigenously made trains and reducing the number of imports, the focus is also to export made-in-India products in different parts of the world. On a recent visit to Mozambique, Africa, EAM Dr. S Jaishankar highlighted India’s achievement, as he took a ride in a ‘Made in India’ train from Maputo to Machava with Mozambican Transport Minister Mateus Magala on April 13.
Earlier, the Indian government extended the Line of Credit (LoC) to the government of Mozambique. The credit is planned to be utilized for the procurement of six 3000 HP diesel-electric locomotives and 90 coaches, including 60 loco-hauled coaches and 30 DEMU coaches, ensuring maintenance support for five years. The import of these locomotives and coaches was made through Rail India Technical and Economic Service (RITES), a PSU of the Ministry of Railways. It was responsible to provide the supply to Mozambique.
Banaras Locomotive Works (BLW) of Varanasi was roped in by RITES to make six locomotives, and customized train coaches were made in Modern Coach Factory (MCF) in Raebareli, Uttar Pradesh. While BLW has a long history of exporting locomotives, MCF is also one of the most advanced coach manufacturing units in the world and is also well-equipped with many state-of-the-art industrial machines. It also comparatively requires less manpower than other existing coach manufacturing units of Indian Railways.
MCF dispatched its first train coaches to Mozambique in October 2020 which included various varieties of coaches including, AC First Class, 2nd Class, 3rd Class, pantry cars, generator cars, non-AC restroom cars, etc. These coaches do not have longitudinal side berths, instead, it has a coupe as is in the First AC Coaches of Indian Railways. In March 2021, the then Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal flagged off 3000 HP Cape Gauge loco, stating that export to Mozambique will boost the Indo-African relationship as well as pilot economic empowerment through export.
Indian Railways is becoming a major supplier of coaches and rakes to international countries and is also contributing to India’s ‘Make in India’ efforts. The Indian Railway’s 65-year-old Integrated Coach Factory (ICF) has exported 650 railway coaches, shells, and other components to other countries.
Reportedly, the ICF has exported components manufactured in Chennai over the last few years to 14 countries, including Thailand, Burma, Taiwan, the Philippines, Tanzania, Uganda, Vietnam, Nigeria, Bangladesh, Mozambique, Malaysia, Angola, and Sri Lanka.
Indian Railways intends to sell semi-high-speed ‘Vande Bharat’ trains by 2025-26. Railways intend to clock 10-12 lakh kilometres on 75 Vande Bharat trains over the next three years, with an eye on markets in Europe, South America, and East Asia, and to make these ‘Made in India’ trains export ready.