At some point or another, the news of reforms in the Indian Railways must have caught your eye. Actually, Indian Railways, under Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, is undergoing tremendous changes to fulfill the aspirations of the Indian masses. The best part of these reforms is the incorporation of ‘Make in India’.
The biggest achievement of Indian railways currently is the success of the Vande Bharat Express, a semi-high-speed train equipped with modern facilities. Now there is yet another dose of ‘Make in India’ that is taking over the internet.
80000 Indian wheels for railroads
India is ready to reduce its dependence on Russia and China for train wheels. In a big move, tenders were floated for the Indian firms under ‘Make in India’ to build a wheel manufacturing unit to fulfill the Indian Railways requirement of 80,000 wheels per year for 20 years.
Now, the tender has been recently opened, and it was given to Ramkrishna Forgings and Titagarh Wagons as they emerged as the lowest bidder. It was followed by Bharat Forge at number two and SAIL at number three.
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Indian Railway is expecting the increase in wheel demand to reach 2 lakh per year by 2026. This is because of the introduction of new high-speed and semi-high-speed trains. With the setting up of the new plant for forging wheels, Indian Railways hopes to soon meet the entire requirement for forging wheels for its locomotives and trains domestically.
Currently, the Indian railway is dependent on Russia and China. In 2022–23, around 80,000 wheels worth Rs 520 crore were imported from China, while the remaining 40,000 were sourced from SAIL. Additionally, Railway Ispat Nigam Limited (RINL) has the capacity to manufacture 80,000 wheels per year. This brings the combined capacity to 1,20,000 wheels per year. However, RINL commercial production has yet to start.
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Now, with 80,000 additional wheels per year, the railways demand will be fulfilled domestically, ending any type of dependence on foreign players. As per the rules, Ramakrishna Forgings will have to set up the manufacturing facility within 36 months of the award date.
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