India to supply trains to Pakistan and Bangladesh


Indian Railways will soon have air-conditioned coaches and locomotives chugging in Pakistan and Bangladesh, Indian media reported.
The country’s biggest rail coach manufacturing unit, the Rail Coach Factory (RCF) in Kapurthala, along with diesel locomotives manufacturing units in Patiala and Varanasi, are making these coaches for the two countries. Railways Infrastructure Technical and Economic Services (RITES) has already signed a deal with Bangladesh to supply 16 broad gauge locomotives and is in negotiations with Pakistan Railways Advisory and Consultancy Services Limited (PRACS) to supply 50 locomotives.
RITES inked a deal with Bangladesh Railways on June 10 to supply 16 broad gauge locomotives at the cost of Bangladesh Taka 6.09 billion or Rs 413 crore. India will start exporting the rakes to Bangladesh after 18 months, starting with two each month.
“It’s a first-of-its-kind deal of railways with Bangladesh. We are first supplying them locos and coaches will roll out soon,” Times of India quoted RITES Executive Director VK Jain as saying. Bangladesh Railways Secretary Fazle Kabir said the deal with India was a breakthrough for a country whose rail network together holds the key to future developments of industrial towns.
Earlier, in April, Pakistan had asked to hire 50 diesel locomotives from India. “A formal agreement will be signed between RITES and PRACS after the finalisation of modalities with the Union Ministry of External Affairs,” sources in RITES confirmed. The plan mooted by the Indian Railways, Ministry of External Affairs and RITES is to lease 50 such locomotives of 3,000 Horse Power (HP) each at a rate of Rs 1,500 per hour to Pakistan.
The move was apparently prompted after President Asif Ali Zardari requested locomotives during his meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi. Soon after, a delegation of Pakistani officials held talks with RITES. “The request from Pakistan came after the locos provided by China failed to fit Pakistani broad gauge tracks. China makes standard gauge tracks,” said a senior official with the Railway Board.
India manufactures around 250 such locomotives at its two workshops at Patiala and Varanasi, both of which are likely to send their locos on lease to Pakistan.