WHILE THE world is facing a sharp decline in industrial growth due to the pandemic, the Rail Coach Factory (RCF) at Punjab’s Kapurthala has rolled out a semi high-speed double-decker coach with a maximum speed of 160 kmph, coupled with many novel advanced features in its design. The coach will be sent to Research & Design Standard Organization (RDSO Lucknow) for further oscillation trials before putting in commercial service.
With significant inputs having gone into upgradation of tracks and signaling system over Indian Railways, it is necessary to develop designs of passenger coaches that can carry more and more passengers in a single train in the shortest possible time. The double-decker coach is specially aimed at fulfilling these requirements especially for the busiest routes.
To make travel pleasant and comfortable, this new coach is equipped with most modern amenities and design. With a total capacity of 120 seats, the upper deck can seat 50 passengers while the lower deck has 48 seats. The middle deck on the rear ends has 16 seats on one side and 6 seats on the other. It has transverse 3 x 2 seating with adequate legroom, optimised aisle width for a comfortable journey, plush interiors, overhead luggage rack, mobile and laptop charging sockets, GPS-based Passenger Information System and LED destination board among other passenger-centric-features. Entry to the passenger area is through automatic sliding doors. A mini pantry too has been built in each coach to store and serve hot or chilled refreshments to passengers.
RCF officials said that “literally riding on air”, the coach has advanced state-of-the-art air spring suspension system fitted on the advanced FIAT design of bogies. These 160 kN air springs ensure a smooth and safe journey for the passengers. Additionally, CCTV cameras and fire and smoke detection system have been installed for safety and security of onboard passengers.
RCF’s General Manager Ravinder Gupta said, “What is noteworthy is that RCF is the one and only production unit in India which has produced double-decker coaches for the Indian Railways. First batch of non-AC double-decker coaches were manufactured by RCF on conventional ‘ICF-type’ design patterns in 1990’s. Thereafter, the first AC double-decker coach with 130 kmph speed potential was rolled out in March 2010. Later in March 2019, the UDAY double-decker coaches were produced with more features.”
He further said that RCF has fought all odds in Covid time to show its resilience in face of such adversity and shown accelerated growth in coach production during these times owing to the grit, perseverance and dedication of its determined manpower. With the never give up attitude of its workforce, RCF has in fact risen higher by producing post-Covid coaches, a lighter version of parcel coaches, to name a few.
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