Currently, a total of 411 pairs of trains are operating with LHB coaches on Indian Railways' network. From the financial year 2018-19 onwards, the Indian Railways production units are only manufacturing LHB coaches.
Indian Railways focuses on enhancing safety! Piyush Goyal-led Railway Ministry is replacing all conventional ICF-design railway coaches with modern Linke Hofmann Busch (LHB) coaches. Considering that the modernization of trains is a continuous process, the replacement is being done in a phased manner. The Railway Minister in a written reply in the Parliament said that action has been initiated for acquiring technology for the manufacture of aluminium body coaches in railway factories. Currently, a total of 411 pairs of trains are operating with LHB coaches on Indian Railways’ network. From the financial year 2018-19 onwards, the Indian Railways production units are only manufacturing LHB coaches.
In the year 2000, modern LHB coaches were first introduced on the Indian Railways’ network, while the first indigenous LHB coach was put into service in the year 2003. Based on German technology, the LHB coaches are safer and also offer better riding comfort, compared to Integral Coach Factory (ICF)-design coaches. The LHB coaches support anti-climbing features, making them safer in case of an accident. This feature helps to avoid piling up of coaches on top of each other in case of any rail accident, thereby reducing the chances of a higher number of deaths and injuries.
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Interestingly, a record was made by Indian Railways in the month of February this year. With coach manufacturing picking up across all the railway factories, the national transporter had manufactured more LHB coaches in the last two years than the first 17 years since the introduction of these coaches.
According to Goyal, various measures have been taken in order to prevent rail accidents and enhance the safety of passengers. The number of consequential train accidents has come down from 118 in 2013-14 to 59 in 2018-19. The respective figure for deaths has also reduced from 152 to 37. Thus, the year 2018-19 has been declared the safest in the history of the national transporter, the minister said.