Indian Railways is planning for 'Make in India' wheels for trains
In order to obtain forged wheels for its trains and engines, Indian Railways intends to lessen its reliance on imports from countries like Russia, China, and Europe. Since the 1960s, they have imported it from the UK, the Czech Republic, Brazil, Romani, Japan, China, Ukraine, and Russia.
A tender for constructing a plant to produce 80,000 wheels annually over the following 20 years was issued last year. The tender was recently launched, and the Ramakrishna Forgings and Titagarh Wagons alliance came in with the lowest offer.
In 2022-23, about 80,000 wheels worth US$ 63.5 million (Rs. 520 crores) were imported from China and Russia and the rest 40,000 were sourced from Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL).
As per the estimation of the Indian Railways, the requirement of wheels will jump up to US$ 2,442 (Rs. 2 lakh) per annum by 2026, with the launch of more semi-high-speed trains. The price applicable will be reduced by 2% every year for up to three years, due to the learning curve and the economies of volume. Further, from the fourth year onwards, the applicable price will be 94% of the quoted price, which then will be valid for the balance period.
It should be noted that Ramakrishna Forgings must set up the manufacturing facility within 36 months of the award date.
As per a report by the Times of India, Indian Railways will be procuring 80,000 wheels each year at a cost of US$ 73.3 million (Rs. 600 crores) to begin with.
Furthermore, Indian Railways is hoping to meet the entire requirement of forged wheels for its locomotives and trains domestically, with the setting up of the new plant.
Disclaimer: This information has been collected through secondary research and IBEF is not responsible for any errors in the same.