Indian Railways passengers can now look forward to jerk-free smooth rides on Shatabdi and Rajdhani Express trains. As part of its plan to upgrade premium services, Indian Railways is undertaking the exercise of replacing couplers in these trains. As of now all Shatabdi Express trains under Northern Railways have already received this upgrade. A Railway Ministry official told Financial Express Online that by end of this year, all Shatabdi Express trains across the entire railway network will have new couplers. “The plan is to upgrade all Shatabdi Express trains with new couplers by end of December and all Rajdhani Express trains pan-India by end of January 2019,” the official told Financial Express Online.
A coupler in a train is a device that connects coaches with each other. Indian Railways is replacing age-old couplers with a new version of Centre Buffer Coupler (CBC). According to the official, the equipment that connects the couplings to the rolling stock is called draft gear. The standard coupler on connecting LHB coaches had issues which resulted in jerks during rides. Now, Indian Railways is making use of a CBC that has balanced draft gear. This new draft gear has high-capacity shock absorbers which will ensure that jerks are done away with, making the ride smoother for passengers.
Indian Railways has been upgrading its Shatabdi and Rajdhani Express trains under Operation Swarn. The Rs 50 lakh per rake upgrade aims at enhancing onboard passenger amenities such as modular toilets and cleaner coaches. All major Shatabdi and Rajdhani Express trains on the Indian Railways network have been revamped to provide passengers better value for money at a time when Indian Railways fears losing out to competition from the aviation sector.
The national transporter has also rationalised its dynamic pricing/flexi-fare scheme, removing it from premium trains with low occupancy and reducing the maximum fare cap to 1.4 times the base fare, as against 1.5 times.