Quality of ICF manufactured Bombardier rakes deteriorates further!

The quality of rakes being turned out by ICF continues its free-fall. I had previously reported (link 1, link 2) the poor quality of Bombardier rakes in the linked posts. I had reported this to concerned authorities on Twitter & also registered a complaint on MRVC’s website including links to images clicked by me. MRVC had replied “There is RDSO specification of Epoxy cum Polyurethane painting system (two pack) for the exterior painting of Railway coaches. as per the RDSOs specification, ICF is doing exterior painting & Western Railway is maintaining the coaches. However, the complaint regarding dullness & fading of painting in MUTP PH-II EMU rakes has been advised to ICF by Western Railway to take necessary corrective action.” You can check the complaint & reply by visiting this link. Please search for complaint number 7980.

I had complained in March 2016. ICF has been asked to take corrective action in the same month. However, the quality continues to deteriorate with every new rake. ICF has NOT ACTED on the feedback by WR/MRVC in these 4 months. The letter telling them to improve paint quality probably was thrown into dustbin, or relegated to a file in a dark corner of someone’s cabin at ICF. They blatantly continue manufacturing sub standard rakes. The quality of materials as well as workmanship – both are of very poor standards. Over the past 3 days, I traveled quite a bit on Western Railway. Here are some photos showing the poor workmanship & materials used by ICF.

Cracks in interior panelling of 5116 B. Age of coach: less than 5 months

Cracks in interior panelling of 5116 B. Age of coach: less than 5 months

Cracks in interior panelling of 5116 B. Age of coach: less than 5 months

Cracks in interior panelling of 5116 B. Age of coach: less than 5 months

Cracks in interior panelling of 5116 B. Age of coach: less than 5 months

Cracks in interior panelling of 5116 B. Age of coach: less than 5 months

Sub standard material used near door. Age of rake: less than 2 months

Sub standard material used near door. Age of rake: less than 2 months

High variation in shades of white. Age of rake: less than 2 months

High variation in shades of white. Also note poor finishing of roof. There are dents all over. Age of rake: less than 2 months

Various shades of white & violet. Beyond description in words.

Various shades of white & violet. Beyond description in words.

Shade of white is different on the 2 coaches in pic. Age of rake: 2 weeks

Shade of white is different on the 2 coaches in pic. Age of rake: 2 weeks

Shade of white changes on the left of window. Some variation in violet shade too. Age of rake: 2 weeks

Shade of white changes on the left of window. Some variation in violet shade too. Age of rake: 2 weeks

Various shades of violet on top strip and HT compartment door. Shade of white changes on the left of window. Age of rake: 2 weeks

Various shades of violet on top strip and HT compartment door. Shade of white changes on the left of window. Age of rake: 2 weeks

Patchwork done with different shade of white below violet strip on top. Age of rake: 2 weeks

Patchwork done with different shade of white below violet strip on top. Age of rake: 2 weeks

Different shades of white in the box where "First class" is written. Age of rake: 2 weeks

Different shades of white in the box where “First class” is written. Bottom half of the text “WESTERN RAILWAY” is outside violet strip. Age of rake: 2 weeks

Shabby Patchwork done on violet paint below window!

Shabby Patchwork done on violet paint below window!

Variation in shade of violet. Age of rake: less than 2 months

Variation in shade of violet. Age of rake: less than 2 months

Variation in shade of violet. Shade of band around door is different from that below window. Age of rake: less than 2 months

Variation in shade of violet. Shade of band around door is different from that below window. Age of rake: less than 2 months

Variation in shade of violet. Age of rake: less than 2 months

Variation in shade of violet. Age of rake: less than 2 months

Stripes denoting first class peeled off! Age of rake: 1 year

Stripes denoting first class peeled off! Age of rake: 1 year

Paint peeling off from a doorway

Paint peeling off from a door

Dents at regular intervals, as if coach was hit with hammer.

Dents at regular intervals, as if coach was hit with hammer. Also, excess residue left after welding is not removed.

The coat of paint is so thin that you can see dark spots of whatever lies beneath the paint

The coat of paint is so thin that you can see dark spots of whatever lies beneath the paint

Sub standard material used near door. Age of rake: less than 2 months

Sub standard material used near door. Age of rake: less than 2 months

Poor painting above window - shade of white changes. Age of rake: less than 2 months

Poor painting above window – shade of white changes. Age of rake: less than 2 months

Varying shades of white! Age of rake: less than 2 months

Varying shades of white! Age of rake: less than 2 months

Mismatch of violet colour above door. Age of rake: less than 2 months

Mismatch of violet colour above door. Age of rake: less than 2 months

"I I" sign indicating second class is missing

“I I” sign indicating second class is missing

Cracked panel in 5141 B. This coach is not even 3 months old

Cracked panel in 5141 B. This coach is not even 3 months old

This same panel seemed very weak. It could be pushed inside without applying any force. A video showing it:

I am really angered by what I saw in these 3 days. There were more defects which I couldn’t capture on camera. Defects like unnecessary cuts in interior panels, shoddy fitment of panels, shoddy fitting of window beading are so common that it is pointless to click them

It is clear that there is absolutely no quality control at ICF. Their only motto is to keep on turning out coaches, don’t look at even basic levels of quality. Interiors panels cracking in 2 month is simply criminal. “Ye gunah nahi, ye toh paap hai” to quote a line from Marathi movie “Katyar Kaljat Ghusali”. These rakes are supposed to last 25 years. I have to say that Siemens rakes were a lot better than this. WR & CR workshops can do a far better work of painting rakes. So much for a world class manufacturing facility supposedly using advanced PU paint.

What is more shocking is that ICF has played deaf ears to feedback from WR & MRVC. They have chosen to conveniently IGNORE the shortcomings pointed out by WR. Even after WR advised ICF, the quality continues to plummet. How shameless can they be? MRVC has absolutely no control over ICF. Why didn’t MRVC issue an ultimatum to ICF to improve quality? No one is answerable in the whole system. Complaints evoke standard responses like “ICF has been advised”, “ICF follows standards set by RDSO” etc. Is there anyone to check whether standards are really followed? Is there any unbiased quality audit? If these are standards set by RDSO, then it is high time to review them, because they are horrible.

I am really disappointed with ICF’s work. This is what happens when you have monopoly. ICF can get away with anything they do, as they have no competition! Unfortunately, the damage is already done. More than 60% of the rakes are already manufactured. Nothing can be done about them now.

All we can do is hope some miracle will happen and things will improve sometime in the future.

PS: With this post, MRVC Mania has reached the milestone of 200 posts πŸ™‚

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8 thoughts on “Quality of ICF manufactured Bombardier rakes deteriorates further!

  1. That’s really poor quality production by ICF. I was very excited when Bombardier rakes were put into service, but now after looking all this, I am very dissappointed.

    Congrats on completing 200 posts πŸ™‚

  2. A reader who works at ICF wrote to me yesterday. I have concealed the identity. Here is what the reader said:

    “Dear Friend,
    I am a staff from ICF . I have also seen many problems in the MUTP coaches while we go for checking the paint work . But nothing is in our hands . The higher ups at the production department want only outturn, not quality.”

  3. Great work Akshay in bringing out the quality issues in Bombardier rakes manufactured by ICF. I used to go ga-ga at the sight of the Bombardier rakes, but after seeing your article I am disappointed at this shoddy job from ICF. Btw congrats on 200 posts! πŸ™‚

  4. Congratulations for achieving 200 miles (200 posts). I am a regular reader of your post that is very educational at least for me, researched, knowledgeable and also eye opener. Keep it up

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