On Wednesday, PM Modi praised the newly designed vistadome coaches developed by Indian Railways’ Integral Coach Factory (ICF), Chennai. According to the PM, the comfort these vistadome coaches will provide will make railway journeys more memorable. The newly developed vistadome tourist coaches, which completed the 180 kmph trial run on Tuesday, will have a larger viewing area including roof top glass along with 44 number of seats for passengers that can rotate up to 180 degrees. It has been provided with a Wi-Fi-based passenger information system. In a first, the vistadome coach has been built on the Linke Hofmann Busch (LHB) platform, which is considered to be safer, according to a PTI report.
Some of the other key features of the new vistadome coaches are that they are equipped with air-spring suspension in secondary stage for better ride comfort, observatory lounge with a larger window at one end, large glass windows as well as glass roof that boast electrically controlled opalescence, and transparent roof for the passengers to get a panoramic view of their train journey. The coach also has a mobile charging socket for each passenger below the seat armrest. Besides, it also has an entertainment system integrated with digital display screens as well as speakers for music lovers.
The vistadome coach will also offer “Content on Demand” Wi-fi facility on personal gadgets of passengers, wider entrance doors for passengers with disabilities on wheelchairs as well as automatic sliding doors at the entry of the compartment on both sides. The vistadome tourist coaches are also connected with Public Address-cum Passenger Information System based on GPS, multi-tier luggage racks made of stainless steel outside the passenger area, mini pantry to provide refreshments to the passengers, sunk-in type LED destination board, service area consisting of hot case, coffee maker, microwave oven, refrigerator, bottle cooler and washbasin.
The new vistadome tourist coaches have also been equipped with CCTVs for onboard surveillance. Also, these state-of-the-art coaches will boast aesthetically designed interiors along with FRP panelling and modular toilets as well as automatic fire detection with an alarm system for safe railway journey. At present, the ICF will be manufacturing 10 such vistadome coaches. So far, two vistadome coaches have been rolled out and before March 31 next year, the remaining will be finished.
According to the report, the two vistadome coaches which were rolled out have gone to Indian Railways’ Central Railway zone, only one of the coaches had cleared the speed trial runs. Some of the Indian Railways’ routes where the older version of the vistadome coaches are operated are Dadar and Madgaon, Kashmir Valley, Araku Valley, Kangra Valley Railway, Matheran Hill Railway, Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, Kalka Shimla Railway and Nilgiri Mountain Railway.