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New Face of Transportation

Alstom’s Sri City plant is Making intracity transportation sophisticated. Here is the story behind the scenes

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Alstom, Sri City, Mumbai Metro, Signalling technology, Alain Spohr, Andhra Pradesh, Chennai Metro, Montreal Metro, Sydney Metro

Recently, Alstom organised a ceremony to celebrate commencement of the manufacturing of rolling stock for Mumbai Metro Line 3. As per the contract that is worth Euro 452 million, Alstom is will manufacture 31 lightweight, fully-furnished modern metro trains of 8 cars each. Along with rolling stock, the company will also execute the power supply contract and equip Line 3 with Urbalis 400, its latest generation of CBTC signalling technology.

Speaking on the occasion, Alain Spohr, managing director of Alstom India and South Asia said, “This will be the new face of transportation for the commercial capital of India. Mumbai is a global city and it is set to get a world-class metro experience. The trainsets are custom-designed for Mumbai. Themed on Dynamic Fluidism that takes inspiration from the city, the train prioritises high interior density layout to maximise space efficiency. The trainsets will accommodate at least 3,000 people on a single trip, easing daily commute for Mumbaikars.”

When asked about when the first train would be delivered, Spohr says, “We see the first train in this contract being ready for internal testing by August 2020 and it should be able be ready ship it to Mumbai by end of 2020. The project is going to in good direction. Also, it is worthy to note here that the project is shaping up on schedule. It is a commendable scene considering the scale of the project.”

Where will they be manufactured?
The company will manufacture these rolling stocks in its facility at Sri City, Andhra Pradesh. This plant is spread across the area of 57,959 sqm. Speaking about this state-of-the-art facility, Spohr says, “I am proud of this manufacturing facility. It is truly state-of-the-art plant having the capacity of producing 20 cars per month. We are looking at doubling it to 40 cars per month by mid 2020. In other words, we are expanding our capacity from 240 to 480 trainsets per annum”

Elaborating on the manufacturing process he says, “Our plant has three major shops. The assembly work begins at the car body shell shop where the car/coach takes shape. Roof, side walls, end walls and underframe are assembled and welded together forming the skeleton of the car. Of course, the testing is must before it leaves the car body shell shop.”

Further it moves to the Fitting Shop. “It is an important stop as all cabling and wiring work takes place here. All the electrical and electronic fitting happens here. Again, the quality check and testing are must at the end of this process. This ensures the correctness of all the fittings,” he informs. Lastly, the coach visits the Bogie Integration Shop. “The bogie integration and rest of the fittings happen here,” Spohr notes.

When asked about the key features of the facility, he says, “This plant is flexile in true sense. We are able to carry out work for 3-4 different projects at a time. The factory is currently executing orders for Chennai Metro, Montreal Metro (Réseau Express Métropolitain) and Mumbai Metro Line 3. I do not think any other metro manufacturing plant in India has such flexibility.”

Making it in India
Continuing further, he adds, “This plant is a true example of Make in India. We are manufacturing metros not only for Indian cities but for the world. Our people are well-skilled to deliver high-tech metros to the globe.” When asked about the skill gap, he replies, “Our shopfloor employees are talented and skilled. In fact, I don’t find any skill gap at the shopfloor in India nor does it exist at the leadership level. However, middle management can be a pain area in this regard.”

Touching upon the area of localisation of the supply chain, he explains, “We try to source maximum products from within the country. However there is a lot to do in this area. One must understand that we are deploying sophisticated technology which requires high class products. Sometimes, we are not able to source such products locally because of their unavailability. However, we are working with our vendors to make required products available regularly. I fully trust Indian capabilities and I am sure we will make this happen.”

Future porojects
To conclude, Spohr mentions, “The company has won a contract with Sydney’s NRT to supply the rolling stock and signalling system for the next stage of Sydney Metro.” Alstom will be supplying 23 six car fully-automated metropolis trains for the project, which will be manufactured at the Sri City facility. “The current projects that we are already working on and this newly bagged project will keep the factory occupied for quite some time now.”

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