Integral Coach Factory

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Integral Coach Factory
IndustryRail transport
FoundedOctober 2, 1955; 66 years ago (1955-10-02)
HeadquartersChennai, Tamilnadu, India
Area served
Key people
A.K.Agarwal, IRSME
(General Manager)
ProductsRolling stock
Production output
3262 coaches (2018–19)
Number of employees
11,300 (2018)
ParentIndian Railways

Integral Coach Factory (ICF) is a manufacturer of rail coaches located in Perambur, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India. It was established in 1955 and is owned and operated by the Indian Railways. It is located in Perambur, in the suburbs of Chennai. The ICF is one of the four rake production units of the Indian Railways, the other three being the Modern Coach Factory at Raebareli, Rail Coach Factory at Kapurthala and Marathwada Rail Coach Factory at Latur.[1]

The coach factory primarily manufactures rolling stock for Indian Railways but also exports railway coaches to other countries. ICF set a new record producing 2,503 coaches in the fiscal year 2017–2018. It became the world's largest railway coach manufacturer, rolling out 3,262 coaches in the fiscal year 2018–2019, up from 1,437 coaches in 2009–2010,[2] expecting to produce 4,000 units in the fiscal year 2019–2020.[3]

A premier production unit of the Indian railways, the ICF manufactures a range of coaches, including Linke-Hofmann-Busch (LHB) ones, in addition to self-propelled train sets (SPTs) such as electrical multiple units (EMU).[4]


In 1948, the Government of India decided that a separate Railway Coach Building Works should be established with a view to attain self-sufficiency in coaches for Indian Railways. A technical Aid Agreement was concluded on 28 May 1949 with the Swiss Car and Elevator Manufacturing Corporation Ltd. of Switzerland, who have been pioneers in the field of light-weight coach building for obtaining the necessary technical assistance in the establishment of a factory in India for building the coaches. A supplemental agreement was signed on 27 June 1953. After a comprehensive survey of several alternative sites for locating the factory, the vacant Railway land to the west of the Loco Repair Shops of the Southern Railway at Perambur was chosen as the final site in June 1951. The site is ideally situated with rail connections to the factory readily available and a nearby suburban railway station to bring workmen to the factory.


A 2019 stamp of Integral Coach Factory and their flagship Train 18.

The Integral Coach Factory is one of the earliest production units of independent India. It was initiated by Chief Minister K. Kamaraj and inaugurated by the first Prime Minister of India Jawaharlal Nehru on 2 October 1955. Later the Furnishing Division was inaugurated on 2 October 1962 and the production of fully furnished coaches steadily increased over the years. The total estimated cost of the factory was 74.7 million. In full production, about 350 broad-gauge coaches per annum are produced.[5] The number of persons sent to Switzerland from the Integral Coach Factory for training in technical jobs in 1954 and 1955 is 64.[6]


Vande Bharat Express on its inaugural run.
The then Minister of Railways Suresh Prabhu, flagging off the 50,000th coach manufactured by Integral Coach Factory through video-conference.

The ICF consists of two main divisions, namely, shell division and furnishing division. The shell division manufactures the skeleton of the rail coach, while the furnishing division is concerned with the coach interiors and amenities. An ancillary unit to the ICF is being built in Haldia, West Bengal for furnishing diesel multiple units.[7] ICF manufactures more than 170 varieties of coaches including the Kolkata Metro rakes for BHEL, NGEF, Medha, first and second class coaches, pantry and kitchen cars, luggage and brake vans, self-propelled coaches, electric (EMU), diesel (DMU) and mainline electric multiple unit (MEMU), metro coaches and diesel-electric tower cars, accident relief medical vans (ARMV), inspection cars (RA), fuel test cars, track recording cars and luxury coaches. The plant employs about 11,095 people and manufactures about 2000 coaches per year. ICF churned out 1,503 coaches in 2010[8] and in August 2011, ICF was sanctioned a project for manufacturing stainless steel shells and high-speed bogies and an increase in capacity from 1,500 to 1,700 coaches.[8] In 2013–14, it built 25 LHB coaches, 248 air-conditioned and 1185 non-AC coaches.[9] It plans to increase its manufacturing capacity of LHB coaches. It has set a target to manufacture 300 LHB coaches in 2014–15 and reach a capacity of 1000 LHB coaches by 2016–17. Now, the conventional type of coaches of ICF design has been completely dispensed with and ICF is manufacturing all steel all welded modern LHB coaches fully. ICF has turned out a record outturn of 2277 coaches during the year 2016–17 consisting of more than 50 variants involving high technological inputs, meticulous planning and execution.[10] In 2019, ICF produced 4300 coaches. A total of 60,000 coaches had been produced till end of December 2019, by ICF since its inception. This makes ICF the largest rail coach manufacturer in the world. On an average, the ICF turns out about 10 coaches of various types in a single day.[11]

Utkrisht coaches of Chennai–Kollam Express, manufactured by ICF, in Kollam Junction railway station

ICF has also turned out the first semi high speed train set of India, the Train 18, later christened as Vande Bharat Express, which was flagged off by the Prime Minister of India on 15 February 2019 runs between New Delhi Railway Station and Varanasi Junction Railway Station.[12] One more Vande Bharat Express train set manufactured by ICF is now running between New Delhi Railway Station and Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Katra Railway Station.


ICF also exports rail cars to various countries. It exported its first 47 bogies to Thailand in 1967 and has since exported 361 bogies and 447 coaches to over 13 Afro-Asian countries. The last order from Sri Lanka for supplying 20 rakes of six coach DEMUs earned ICF 126 crore.[13]

Export markets
Africa  Angola
Asia  Bangladesh
 Republic of China (Taiwan)
 Sri Lanka


A Regional Railway Museum is situated in the factory premises. It has a collection of nascent models of trains and models endemic to the Indian Railways. About 59.1 million units of electricity had been generated through the windmills installed by ICF in Tirunelveli district in 2011 which met 80 percent of the plant's electrical energy requirements.[15][16][17]


The air-conditioned train-sets manufactured by ICF for Kolkata Metro allegedly broke down causing disruption of services. According to newspaper reports, the air-conditioned rakes have been sent to Kolkata without conducting dry runs because the ICF does not have third rail testing facilities.[18][19][20][21][22][23][24][25][26][27]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Kumar, S. Vijay (15 July 2019). "Railways may buy readymade trains from private players". The Hindu. Chennai: Kasturi & Sons. p. 1. Retrieved 21 July 2019.
  2. ^ Kumar, S. Vijay (15 July 2019). "AIRF opposes move to purchase trains". The Hindu. Chennai: Kasturi & Sons. p. 5. Retrieved 21 July 2019.
  3. ^ Narasimhan, T E (21 May 2019). "After Train 18, ICF to develop Train 19, sleeper version of Train 18". Business Standard. Chennai: Express Publications. Retrieved 23 May 2019.
  4. ^ Parthasarathy, Venkatesan (2 August 2017). "Padi-Anna Nagar line to turn ICF test track". The New Indian Express. Chennai: Express Publications. Retrieved 14 July 2018.
  5. ^ page 4
  6. ^ page 31
  7. ^ "Railways' Haldia factory phase I may be commissioned by Oct/Nov". The Hindu. 2 February 2012. Retrieved 19 February 2012.
  8. ^ a b ICF to set up a stainless steel coaches manufacturing plant
  9. ^ "ICF produces record 1,622 coaches". Times of India.
  10. ^ "Indian government approves Kolar coach factory". 12 March 2014.
  11. ^ "ICF surpasses production target, rolls out 2,500th coach". The Hindu. Chennai: Kasturi & Sons. 1 April 2018. Retrieved 20 October 2018.
  12. ^ "India's fastest to be called Vande Bharat Express". Indian Express. Retrieved 22 April 2021.
  13. ^ "How Indian Railways can lead the charge towards Atmanirbhar Bharat". The Financial Express. 25 August 2020. Retrieved 30 April 2021.
  14. ^ Prasain, Krishana (16 January 2020). "Janakpur-Jayanagar rail service to resume operations by March". In May 2018, the Railways Department signed an agreement with the Indian coach manufacturer Integral Coach Factory of Chennai. Kantipur Media Group. Retrieved 7 March 2020.
  15. ^ "Coach factory to use Rs 250 cr to upgrade bogies". Business Standard. 27 January 2012. Retrieved 19 February 2012.
  16. ^ "Surplus from ICF windmills to power TNEB grid soon". The Times of India. 23 February 2010. Archived from the original on 7 July 2012. Retrieved 19 February 2012.
  17. ^ "Integral Coach Factory installs seven windmills". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 10 April 2009. Archived from the original on 7 September 2012. Retrieved 19 February 2012.
  18. ^ (Jayanta) 18 September 2011, 03.51am IST (18 September 2011). "Snag disrupts Metro services develops snag, commuters stranded". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 15 July 2012. Retrieved 1 November 2012.
  19. ^ "Snag disrupts Metro services". The Times of India. TNN. 9 August 2011. Archived from the original on 16 July 2012. Retrieved 1 November 2012.
  20. ^ "Snag hits Metro on Panchami day". The Times of India. TNN. 2 October 2011. Archived from the original on 14 November 2011. Retrieved 1 November 2012.
  21. ^ Sanjay Mandal (31 October 2011). "AC rakes throw Metro off track". Retrieved 1 November 2012.
  22. ^ Jayanta Gupta (25 June 2011). "Metro AC rakes may break down during rains". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 8 July 2012. Retrieved 1 November 2012.
  23. ^ "Metro AC rake a real bother". Archived from the original on 22 February 2013. Retrieved 28 April 2012.
  24. ^ Our Special Correspondent (17 September 2011). "Snag in AC Metro rake". Retrieved 1 November 2012.
  25. ^ "2 days in a row, AC rake snags". 18 September 2011. Retrieved 1 November 2012.
  26. ^ "After technical snags developed in an AC rake metro train services were disrupted this morning. Trains could not run between Girish Park and Dumdum. They ran only from Girish Park to New Garia". The Times of India. 20 September 2011. Retrieved 1 November 2012.
  27. ^ "AC rakes throw Metro". Yahoo! News India. 31 October 2011. Retrieved 1 November 2012.

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Coordinates: 13°05′54″N 80°12′30″E / 13.09832°N 80.20844°E / 13.09832; 80.20844