Indian Railways rolls out AC 3-tier economy coach; from modular berths to foldable snack tables, see features

By: |
February 11, 2021 2:09 PM

The new AC three-tier economy class coach can carry more passengers as the number of berths has been increased from 72 to 83.

AC economy class, LHB coachBesides, many other innovations have been incorporated in the design of the new AC three-tier economy class coach. (representational image)

On Wednesday, Piyush Goyal-led Indian Railways rolled out its first AC three-tier economy class coach. The coach is being touted by the Railway Ministry to be synonymous with the cheapest and best air-conditioned travel in the world. According to officials quoted in a PTI report, these coaches will be economical and in between the current non-AC sleeper class coach and AC three-tier coach. This Linke Hofmann Busch (LHB) coach was rolled out for the upcoming trial, from Rail Coach Factory (RCF) in Kapurthala to Research Design and Standards Organisation (RDSO), Lucknow. The coach was conceived by RCF and its design work started on war footing in the month of October 2020.

The new AC three-tier economy class coach can carry more passengers as the number of berths has been increased from 72 to 83. Besides, many other innovations have been incorporated in the design of the new AC three-tier economy class coach. According to the ministry, the high voltage electric switchgear which was installed on board has now been shifted below the under frame, thereby increasing the passenger capacity by introducing 11 extra berths. Each of these coaches has been provided with a wider and one disabled-friendly toilet at entry door. Also, for improving passenger comfort, several design improvements have been made such as redesigning the air-condition ducting to provide individual vents for each berth.

Besides, the coach also boasts improved and modular design of berths and seats, injury free spaces and holders for water bottles, mobile phones and magazines, foldable snack tables in both longitudinal as well as transverse bays. In addition to the standard socket, individual reading lights, as well as mobile charging points, are provided for each berth. Another new feature is a ladder of ergonomically improved design for accessing the upper and middle berths. Also, in the middle and upper berths, there is increased headroom, the ministry said.

Apart from these features, the design for both Indian and Western-style lavatories has been improved while public address, as well as passenger information systems, have been installed as part of passenger facilities. The ease of access and ambience of coach has also been improved by aesthetically pleasing and ergonomic entrance. The coach interior has luminescent aisle markers, illuminated indicators of berths integral with night lights along with luminescent berth numbers. Additionally, there is improved fire safety system, ensuring compliance to world benchmark of EN45545-2 HL3 for materials. During the current and next fiscal, the RCF plans to produce 248 such coaches, the report added.

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