In a bid to reduce the heat and high temperature build-up inside the coaches, Indian Railways has adopted a multi-pronged strategy.
Indian Railways COVID-19 coaches: To provide treatment to COVID-19 patients, 5,231 non-AC coaches have converted into isolation coaches by Indian Railways. Before converting these coaches for COVID-19 patients, it was stipulated that the coaches should be well ventilated with adequate scope for natural lighting, and if AC is provided, it should be non-ducted, which ruled out Indian Railways’ AC coaches. According to the Railway Ministry, in view of the potential transmission risk of the novel coronavirus through AC ducting, air-conditioned coaches would not be suitable for this purpose.
In the middle of June, the Non AC coaches would be a little warm if the windows are kept closed. Also, the ambient temperature may also be around 43°C. But after installing mosquito nets and keeping the windows open, the cross circulation of air is likely to improve the temperature. In a bid to reduce the heat and high temperature build-up inside the coaches, Indian Railways has adopted a multi-pronged strategy. Therefore, by implementing the following measures, the national transporter expects to provide comfort to the COVID-19 patients and staff:
- The isolation coaches that are stationed at platforms are being covered by cover sheets (White Canat) or suitable materials.
- To reduce temperatures inside the coaches by 1°C, bubble wrap films are being applied on the isolation coaches.
- Recently, the Northern Railway zone conducted a trial by painting the roof of isolation coaches with heat reflective paint. During the trial, the zonal railway found that temperature inside the isolation coaches can be reduced up to 2.2°C.
- The national transporter is also planning trials for another coating developed in association with IIT- Mumbai.
- Indian Railways is also making arrangements to paint the roof with a heat-reflecting paint or alternatively provide a bamboo chic, etc., to lower the temperature further.
- Another trial was conducted by placing portable coolers inside the isolation coaches. During this trial, a temperature reduction of up to 3°C was recorded.Indian Railways also tried water mist systems. In this hot season, it is expected that the resulting reduction in temperature would enhance the comfort of patients.