After introducing the Humsafar and Antyodaya Express, Suresh Prabhu-led Indian Railways is looking to introduce luxury chair car ‘Anubhuti’ coaches in its Shatabdi trains. These new coaches will have a host of new features such as comfortable seats with infotainment screens and attendant calling facility. The coaches will be manufactured at the Integral Coach Factory (ICF) Chennai and should start plying on key Shatabdi routes by the end of 2017. Sources in Railways told FE Online that around 10 ‘Anubhuti’ coaches will be manufactured this year by ICF at an average cost of Rs 2.9 crore per coach.
The ‘Anubhuti’ luxury high-speed intercity coach will be able to take a maximum speed of 160 kmph and will have a seating capacity of 56 passengers. Apart from seats with infotainment systems and an attendant calling facility, the coaches will boast of LED lighting, GPS information based system, toilet occupancy indicators, FRP panelling, automatic inter- communication sliding doors, modular toilets with touch-free amenities and a composite mini pantry. The coaches will be LHB-type air conditioned executive chair cars.
Interestingly, in 2013 a prototype of ‘Anubhuti’ coaches was unveiled under the then Railway Minister Pawan Bansal. But, the project never took off the ground. Now, Indian Railways is looking to introduce new ‘Anubhuti’ coaches, but the project is very different from the 2013 one.
With a focus on increasing passenger comfort, Indian Railways has been introducing new trains such as Humsafar, Antyodaya and Deen Dayalu. All these new services have multiple new features both for the unreserved passengers and those who are willing to pay extra for more amenties. With ‘Anubhuti’ coaches and the new Tejas Express, Railways is revamping short distance smei-high speed rail travel in the country. For the uninitiated, Tejas Express was one of the most awaited promises of Railway Budget 2016 and it will start plying on the Surat to Mumbai route in the next financial year.
Tejas Express, which is currently being manufactured, has also been envisioned as a luxury train service. The train will run at a maximum speed of 130kmph, and has been described as the “future of train travel in India” by Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu. The new luxury, semi-high speed train, will offer onboard services such as entertainment, local cuisine, WiFi, etc. Equipped with 22 new features, the chair cars will also come with LCD entertainment screens with headphone sockets. Luxurious chairs with recliners and leg rest, reading lights, more mobile and laptop charging points, attendant call button, toilet occupancy indicators, smoke detectors, modular bio-toilets, and automatic door closing metro-like mechanism are some of the features that will make Tejas Express stand out.
Alongside, Indian Railways is also working on its ‘Mission Raftaar’ that proposes to double the average speeds of freights trains and increase the average speed of superfast mail/express trains by 25 kmph in the next 5 years. With new trains on the anvil, passengers can certainly look forward to days of more comfortable, luxurious and faster train travel in the coming months and years.