Indian Railways to replace non-AC sleeper coaches with AC ones for trains running at 130-160 kmph

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Updated: Oct 12, 2020 8:01 AM

The national transporter is working on a plan to upscale the railway network to high speed potential. The non-AC coaches, however, will continue to be there in trains running at lower speeds.

The Railways has assured that the ticket prices of such trains will be “affordable”, while ensuring that the comfort and conveniences increase manifold and there is substantial reduction in travel time.

The Railways has decided that trains running on identified routes at a speed of 130 kmph or above on the railway network will have only air-conditioned coaches in the near future.

An official said on Sunday that AC coaches have become a technical necessity wherever the speed of the train is going to be betwen 130-160 kmph. The national transporter is working on a plan to upscale the railway network to high speed potential. The non-AC coaches, however, will continue to be there in trains running at lower speeds.

The Railways has assured that the ticket prices of such trains will be “affordable”, while ensuring that the comfort and conveniences increase manifold and there is substantial reduction in travel time.

Currently on most routes, speeds of mail/express trains have a ceiling of 110 kmph or lower. Premium trains like Rajdhanis, Shatabdis and Durontos are allowed to operate at 120 kmph on significant parts of the Golden Quadrilateral and Diagonals. The rakes for such trains are fit to operate at 130 kmph or above. Presently, only the Delhi-Mumbai, Delhi-Howrah sections are gearing up for this change. The speed potential of some of the corridors have already been upgraded to 130 kmph.

A prototype of such an AC coach is being manufactured at Rail Coach Factory in Kapurthala and should be ready in a few weeks.

“Presently, an 83-berth coach is being designed. It is planned to have 100 such coaches this year and 200 next year. The coaches will be evaluated and experience gained from the running of these coaches will lead to further progress.
The new AC coaches will be economical as their tickets will be priced between AC-3 and sleeper coaches. The coaches are being re-designed by moving the electrical units and removing the space reserved for storing blankets and bed sheets, since Railways will stop providing them due to coronavirus.

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