Imagine an Indian Railways train without paint! A train where the exterior stainless steel coaches are visible without any colour coating on them. Well, Indian railways has just rolled out one such Antyodaya Express that has no paint on its exterior. The first-of-its-kind paintless Antyodaya Express has been handed over to the Southern Railway division of Indian Railways. The 22-coach LHB (Linke-Hofmann-Busch) stainless-steel rake has been manufactured by the Integral Coach Factory (ICF), Chennai. This new ‘paintless’ Antyodaya Express will be operated as an unreserved train for “superfast service” on dense routes at a speed of 120 kmph, says ICF. On Tamil New Year, the train had a special run between Tambaram and Tirunelveli.
According to a senior ICF official, Railway Board had asked the coach factory to experiment by rolling out a few coaches without paint, but an entire rake was made. “The advantage of a paintless exterior coach is that it saves the cost of paint and that of refurbishing it when it is time for a upgrade,” the ICF official told FE Online. “Also, the waste from paint used for a train rake is hazardous and requires a lot of caution while disposing. With no paint on the exterior, that is also taken care of,” he said.
The paintless coaches have a “corrugate side wall” with duplex stainless steel that is 2 mm thick. “It also has paint-less finish and fleet graphic and hydrophobic anti graphic stickers,” says ICF. The roof top of the paintless Antyodaya Express has been coated with solar heat resistant paint. Antyodaya Express is a train that has been envisaged for unreserved passengers, yet aims to provide better journey comfort at no additional cost to people. The first Antyodaya Express train started service early 2017, with a colourful paint scheme of red and yellow.
The new Antyodaya Express, however, as the story points out is sans the exterior paint. The interior features remain the same. The train has bio-toilets with enhanced features and better fittings, more comfortable cushioned seats and luggage racks, LED lights, more mobile and laptop charging points, water purifiers, more dustbins etc among a host of passenger-friendly features.