The Railway Ministry organised a conference on October 9 and 10 to discuss innovation, comfort and safety in rail coaches in India. Experts from France, Germany, US and other countries participated.
In the next two years, Indian railway coaches will have cold drinking water facilities, and tea and coffee vending machines.
According to Dainik Bhaskar, the new coaches will have a buffet, dining lounge, and pantry car, where passengers will be able to eat food from a variety of choices.
A roadmap is being planned on how to furnish over 62 thousand coaches of Indian railways with world class facilities.
The report says that work on redesigning of the coaches has already started in Kapurthala with new seats and berths being fitted while ensuring maximum use of space.
Fitting of CCTV systems and interior and exterior painting is on. Overall, 10 to 12 changes are being made in coaches and every day, five coaches are being made.
Safety has been accorded the highest priority. Seats are being fitted with fireproof silicon foam seats.
Shatabdi and Rajdhani trains will be fitted with CCTV cameras to ensure passenger safety.
A significant development is the increase in the number of emergency windows to six – three on either side of the coaches.
Convenience, too, has been paid attention to while designing the new coaches. A Braille version of the reservation chart will be prepared for the blind. The coaches will have LED screens and internet connectivity.
Entry doors of AC-3 coaches will open either side. As of now, it opens inwards.
Restrooms have been fitted with indicators and every seat has a mobile charger and disposable bags for waste.
Plans are on to insure passengers during every travel. For this, talks are on with LIC. It is likely that lower berth for senior citizens will be increased, too.
Long-distance trains with the new coaches will likely begin operations starting this December.
Though there has been no word on it, this upgradation of coaches could push the fairs of trains northwards.
The report also says that the country’s first high speed train passenger information system has been installed for Delhi-Agra route.