The Indian Railways will introduce 400 Vande Bharat trains on routes across the country in the next few years, of which 100 will be manufactured at the Rail Coach Factory in Latur, Maharashtra.
Union Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw announced this on Monday in Aurangabad at a function at the railway station to lay the foundation stone for a coach maintenance facility.
Mr Vaishnaw said the maintenance facility at Aurangabad station would not only facilitate maintenance of trains but also enhance the potential to operate more passenger and parcel trains, strengthening rail connectivity for the people of the Marathwada region and benefiting freight customers.
He stated that the new pit lane may also facilitate scheduled maintenance of Vande Bharat trains.
"The Marathwada Rail Coach Factory is going to significantly contribute to the overall development of this aspirational region of Maharashtra by heralding a modern industrial ecosystem," a railway official said, adding that the factory had been designed with an initial capacity of manufacturing 250 MEMU/EMU/LHB/trainset-type advanced coaches per annum.
Its capacity can be enhanced significantly as sufficient vacant space has been marked in the layout plan, the official added.
The factory has been set up on 350 acres of land comprising 52,000 square metres of pre-engineered building sheds, a yard with three railway lines, an electric substation with a 33kV supply, a canteen, security and administrative blocks, and a residential colony on 24 acres.
A 5km long rail link has been provided for the movement of coaches from the factory to the new electronically interlocked Harangul railway station, which earlier used to be only a halt. The factory has been equipped with state-of-the-art machinery and plant, material handling systems, and various utilities.
Union Minister of State for Railways Raosaheb Patil Danve presided over the function while Minister of State for Finance Bhagwat Karad was present as a distinguished guest.