The Indian Railways has set its sights on a major overhaul, with a whopping 2.40 lakh crore investment aimed at expanding railway tracks, electrification, and station facilities. As part of this ambitious project, Rashtriya Ispat Nigam (RINL) is gearing up to produce 55,000 wheels during the current financial year, according to reports.
RINL, a state-owned company based in Visakhapatnam, has recently initiated the establishment of a plant in Lalganj, Uttar Pradesh, for manufacturing forged wheels, as revealed by CMD Atul Bhatt. The plant which would cost around Rs 2,000-3,000 billion is anticipated to begin operations within the next few years.
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During the previous financial year, RINL supplied over 2,465 loco wheels and 2,639 LHB wheels to the Indian Railways, and has received a preliminary acceptance certificate for its plant. Bhatt further stated that the wheel production will be scaled up to 55,000 during the current fiscal year.
RINL’s foray into supplying steel to the Indian Railways began in December 2021, when it dispatched a consignment of 52 wheels from its manufacturing unit in Rae Bareli, Uttar Pradesh. Bhatt emphasized that this move aims to reduce India’s reliance on imported steel and enable the Indian Railways to utilize high-quality, Made in India railway parts instead of imported ones.
The Rae Bareli facility stands out as a one-of-a-kind manufacturing plant, featuring cutting-edge technology and unparalleled sophistication in automation. It is specifically tailored to produce forged wheels that meet the stringent demands of high-speed trains capable of reaching speeds of up to 200 km per hour.
Bhatt revealed that RINL’s production capacity could potentially double to 2 lakh wheels per year with the addition of additional facilities. He also highlighted that the plant would cater to the demand for wheels in international markets in the future.
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RINL, a state-owned enterprise specializing in steel production, produces a diverse range of products such as billets and wire rod coils. As one of the pioneering integrated steel plants located along the coast, RINL’s foray into wheel manufacturing for the Indian Railways is a noteworthy stride towards enhancing domestic production and reducing reliance on imports.