Godhni will soon have a mega depot to maintain Mainline Electric Multiple Unit (MEMU) coaches. The move is considered as a boost up for the region in terms of infrastructural development and employment.
After Jaipur and Tiruchirapalli, Nagpur will be the third city to have such a depot set up. Brijesh Kumar Gupta, the Divisional Railway Manager says, "The Railway Board has already given a green signal to set up the unit in Godhni, where huge railway land is available."
According to the reports of TOI, Gupta disclosed that financial bids of over Rs. 20,000 crores have been invited so as to bear the manufacturing cost of 5,000 MEMU coaches. The coaches would be produced at the Kanchpura rail factory, West Bengal. "The modern and well-equipped depot at Godhni will maintain at least 750 MEMU coaches. Earlier, there was a plan to set up the project at Bhusawal but Railway Board decided to go for Nagpur," Gupta added.
Brijesh Kumar also stated that the project will be in the joint venture and the tenders with respect to these projects will be taken care of by the Railway Board. The plan is to reduce passenger trains and pitch in MEMU trains at some location, as per the policy decision.
"These coaches will be equipped with modern facilities like automatic doors, forced ventilation, bio-toilets, regenerative braking, and better interior design. The stainless steel coaches will run faster than the existing coaches," said Gupta.
In June last year, the railways wanted permission for qualification (RQF) for producing 5,000 modern EMU/MEMU coaches in the span of next 10 years, sources of Central Railway said. This too would be a joint venture model.
The RFQ received a positive response as Bombardier (Canada), Siemens Consortium (Germany), Alstom (France), CRRC Corporation Consortium (China), Stadler (Switzerland), Medha Consortium (India) and BHEL, an Indian PSU, qualified for financial bidding. Railways will hold a 26% stake in this joint venture project.
According to sources, a group of officials from Siemens along with its consultants visited Godhni last month. A site inspection and soil survey were done of the proposed space which is a kilometer away from the Godhni Railway Station. "Though modalities are still being worked out, the project is likely to be set up over 1 lakh sq feet area," they said.
Popularly found at major railway divisions, the MEMUs have been left out from Nagpur and its suburbs. With the Godhni depot being set up, it will put an end to Nagpur’s long wait for these MEMUs.
Sources have revealed that 4-5 services operated from Nagpur to cities like Bhusawal, Amravati, Amla, Itarsi, and Kazipet where these MEMUs could be used. These coaches would make it convenient to clear out the waiting lists of passenger trains as well as other mail trains.
EMU/MEMU are considered and a successful and a cost-saving option. These adopt a couple of technologies more to meet the challenge of the suburban transport network. They’re quite a winner when it comes to suburban travel as the configuration is a boon to commuters, feeder trains, and even the main line trains.
MEMUs were proposed for Nagpur in the year 2012 by the Highways & Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari. The proposal was however sent again to the Railway Board after he was appointed as minister. Last year too, a request for a local train between Kanhan-Kamptee-Butibori for daily commuters was pushed by Chandrashekhar Bawankule, the state power minister.
Information source: timeofindia
Title image source: indianrailinfo