NEW DELHI : The government on Friday said complete redesign of railway coaches and even procurement of full train rakes from foreign suppliers are not being considered.

"There is no plan to start import of complete train sets from foreign suppliers," Railway Minister Piyush Goyal in a written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha.

He said a Transfer of Technology (ToT) contract for the development of capabilities for production to commissioning including design, development (prototyping), manufacturing and testing of Aluminium Body passenger coaches of eight variants -- five variants of Broad Gauge loco hauled coaches and three variants of Standard Gauge Metro coaches -- has been awarded by Modern Coach Factory (MCF) in Uttar Pradesh's Rae Bareli to a Korean company.

He said that based on these facilities, manufacturing of coaches shall be done at MCF and "not through import".

Talking about the Integral Coach Factory (ICF) in Chennai, which manufactures the Train 18, also known as Vande Bharat self-propulsion train sets, he said: "The ICF has initiated procurement process for only propulsion equipment and control system for manufacturing of 44 train sets."

In December last year, the Railway Board has given approval to the ICF to manufacture 44 new sets of Train 18 -- rechristened as Vande Bharat Express, by 2021-22.

According to the railway ministry officials, the ICF has been asked to first procure the propulsion system for the train and also emphasise on the "Make In India" initiative of the government while manufacturing the train.

A railway ministry official pointed out that go through for the manufacturing of 44 trains were given after the Research Designs and Standards Organisation (RDSO) approved a revised design which will ensure that the new trains will be lighter in weight, and will consume less power.

The older design of Train 18 had become a point of contention in the case of the first two train sets operating between Delhi and Varanasi and Delhi and Katra.

The gleaming blue-nosed train comes with the best amenities, including high-speed on-board WiFi, GPS-based passenger information system, touch-free bio-vacuum toilets, LED lighting, mobile charging points and a climate control system that automatically adjusts the temperature.

The 16-coach train has two executive compartments with 52 seats each and trailer coaches with 78 seats each. The executive class coaches have rotating seats to match the direction of the train.

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