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ICF MEMU 3.jpg
ICF made Ernakulam - Kollam MEMU
OwnerIndian Railways
Area servedIndia
Transit typeRegional rail/Commuter rail
Began operation1995
Operator(s)Indian Railways
Reporting marksIR
Train length12 coaches
No. of tracks2+
Track gauge5 ft 6 in (1,676 mm) broad gauge
Electrification25 kV AC Overhead line
Top speed130 km/h (81 mph)

On Indian Railways, the MEMUs are electric multiple unit (EMU) trains that serve short and medium-distance routes in India, as compared to normal EMU trains that connect urban and suburban areas. The acronym stands for "Mainline Electric Multiple Unit".[1]


In the 1990s Indian Railways' built MEMUs that had 10 ft 8 in (3,250 mm) wide coaches. The service started on Asansol – Adra section on 15 July 1995 and on Kharagpur – Tata section on 22 July 1995. A MEMU started on 17 October 1995 on Raipur–Durg–Bhatapara–Raipur–Bilaspur route. The first 20 coach MEMU ran between Surat to Virar in 2017. In 2018, Integral Coach Factory (ICF) launched new MEMU capable to operate at 110–130 km/h (68–81 mph).[citation needed]

IR is progressively replacing all locomotive-hauled slow and fast passenger and intercity trains with EMUs. The upgraded trains are re-branded as MEMUs.


A 3-phaser MEMU train at Cherthala
ICF made Marikuppam - Bengaluru MEMU at Tyakal

The system uses multiple electrical units[2][3] operating on 25 kV AC drawn from overhead lines. The trailer coaches have two toilets for passengers and one for the crew.

The train can run up to 200 km (120 mi) between Eastern Ghat and Western Ghat. The rakes have a maximum permitted speed of 105 km/h (65 mph) on broad gauge tracks. The motorcoaches use DC traction motors. In 2017, ICF flagged off an LHB hybrid AC-AC MEMU rake based on the 1600 HP Medha DEMU architecture. These rakes use asynchronous traction motors and have a maximum designed speed of 110 km/h. These use a stainless steel body. Two of them operate on South Central Railways.

ICF launched new MEMUs capable to operate at 110–130 km/hr. The construction cost is 26 crore per unit and can carry 2,618 passengers. This train has a three phase traction motor and operates on 25 Kv current which saves 35% energy. It offers GPS-based passenger information systems and announcement in coaches. It has double leaf sliding doors, gangways, CCTV cameras and aluminium luggage racks. The driver's cabin has AC and the coach has an emergency communication facility. It is designed to operate between cities 200–300 km (120–190 mi) away in Uttar Pradesh. The train may start in February 2019.[4]


Hyderabad Suburban train, MEMU
CR MEMU Rakes built by BEML, Bangalore
CR MEMU Rakes parked alongside Suranjan Das Road

MEMUs are manufactured at Rail Coach Factory, Kapurthala, and Integral Coach Factory, Chennai. Rakes are maintained in the Titlagarh coach maintenance shops.[citation needed]

Comparison to locomotive-hauled trains[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ TTI. "MEMU Trains in India". Retrieved 2021-02-08.
  2. ^ "SCR starts 2 Memu trains". The Times of India. July 20, 2011. Archived from the original on June 1, 2013. Retrieved December 10, 2011.
  3. ^ Express News Service (December 9, 2011). "Corporation adamant on saving MEMU dream". CNN-IBM. Archived from the original on March 18, 2013. Retrieved December 10, 2011.
  4. ^ New Train 18-like MEMU for North India! Indian Railways rolls out 130 kmph train for short-distance travel

External links[edit]