Faced with the ever-increasing passenger rush, Indian Railways have decided to increase the permissible limit of coaches in express trains from 24 to 26 to create additional berths.
The capacity expansion would be first carried out in about five trains on different routes where existing infrastructure can handle such long trains.
Though Railway officials remain tight-lipped about the likely trains to be augmented, there are indications that a couple of Rajdhanis plying on Delhi-Howrah and Delhi-Mumbai routes could be picked up.
An announcement would be made after the clearance from the Commissioner of Railway Safety.
“The move would increase the berths available for reservation by about 100-150,” they said.
At present, a train rake comprises 18 to 24 coaches depending on the patronage enjoyed by them.
The talk of raising the permissible limit to 26 coaches has been going on for quite some time but plans could not be brought on the ground owing to lack of required infrastructure.
“But the beginning has been made and we are identifying which are the routes where we can run trains with 26 coaches,” they said.
The length of platforms at stations which can accommodate such trains and the length of the loop lines are some of the requirements that are being looked into before the services are launched.
According to the Rail Budget for 2015-16, Indian Railways’ earnings from passenger traffic were estimated to rise 16.7 per cent to Rs 50,175 crore for the current fiscal year, envisaging more people travelling by trains. It estimated 860 crore passengers to travel by trains.
To cope with the rush, Railways have added 130 coaches in as many trains during this fiscal apart from running special trains.