India: Medho Servo Drives (MSD) has announced the completion of a plant in Telangana, which will specialise in the production of electric trains, locomotives, metro cars and monorail. Investments in the project amounted to 10 bln Rs ($130 mln USD). It is assumed that the launch of the plant will create 2.2 thsd jobs.
MSD says the facility will be able to produce 500 multiple unit cars and 50 locomotives annually. For comparison, the capacity of another Indian producer, ICF, is declared at the level of 4 thsd units of rolling stock per year, RFC – 1.5 thsd units, MFC – about 1.4 thsd units.
The plant will be MSD’s first rolling stock production site. Now the company specialises only in the production of components: electric motors, converters, control systems, etc. In 2013, MSD created a joint venture with a major European manufacturer, the Austrian Traktionssysteme (TSA): the partners already have production in India.
MSD has already received the first order for railway equipment. So, last week, Indian Railways (IR) named the companies that will have to produce 58 Vande Bharat electric trains. As part of this order, MSD is expected to supply 26 trains. At the same time, in previous years, the company has already received orders for the supply of drive systems for such trains, produced by ICF, which is owned by IR.
Inside the Medho Servo Drives factory. Source: KTR/Twitter
Earlier this year, Indian Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced the allocation of 2.45 trln Rs ($32.8 bln USD) from the national budget for the development of the railway transport in India in 2022-2023. The funds should also be directed to the production of the already mentioned 400 Vande Bharat trains over the next 3 years. According to Urban Transport News, together with MSD, the order for this year was distributed among Alstom (16 trains), Siemens (9 trains), local BHEL (4 trains), and Titagarh and CGL received orders to master the production of such trains.
India is planning significant purchases in the coming years. Recently, the Ministry of Railways published a more detailed procurement plan, which included intentions to ensure the production of 8.4 thsd units of rolling stock in 2022-2023 by three Indian factories (ICF in Chennai, RFC in Kapurthala and MFC in Rai Bareli). The plan is mainly about passenger vehicles, but the task was set to produce, among other things, 32 cars of electric trains for the goods transportation. Last week, IR also announced plans to procure 90 thsd freight cars over the next three years, with an expected investment of around 300 bln Rs ($3.9 bln USD), according to the Times of India. It is planned that 42 thsd of these should be gondola cars, 40 thsd – hoppers wagons.