A consortium formed by Titagarh Wagons and Ramkrishna Forgings is embarking on the establishment of one of Asia’s largest train wheel manufacturing plants. The venture, known as Ramkrishna Titagarh Rail Wheels Limited, aims to build a state-of-the-art facility using advanced German technology and machinery. With a projected capital expenditure of Rs 1,000 crore, the plant is set to have an annual capacity of two lakh wheels, potentially making it the largest train wheel plant in Asia, rivaling any outside of China.
While the exact location for the plant has not yet been finalized, a comprehensive study is currently underway to identify the most cost-effective site in consultation with the railways. Several key factors will be considered, including incentives, access to raw materials, and cost-effective transportation of finished goods.
The consortium secured the tender with an aggressive bid of Rs 12,226 crore, and in return, the railway authorities have committed to an annual off-take of 80,000 wheels for the next 20 years to support domestic manufacturing. This aligns with the government’s “Atmanirbhar Bharat” (self-reliant India) initiative, which aims to not only halt train wheel imports but also foster a capacity for export.
Once operational, the plant plans to export approximately 30-35% of its annual production to international markets, primarily Europe and other countries, while catering to the domestic demand. This shift is significant as India used to import train wheels worth around Rs 500 crore annually.
The consortium has a three-year timeline from the signing of the agreement to commence the supply of 80,000 wheels annually to the railways. During this period, the focus will be on constructing the plant and setting up testing facilities.
According to Umesh Chowdhary, Vice Chairman and Managing Director of Titagarh Wagons, the consortium expects the annual revenue of the plant to range between Rs 1,500-2,000 crore once it reaches full capacity.
The establishment of this manufacturing plant not only signifies a major step towards self-reliance in train wheel production but also highlights India’s potential to become a global exporter in this sector. With cutting-edge technology, strategic partnerships, and a commitment to quality, the consortium aims to revolutionize the train wheel manufacturing landscape in the region.