Charg­ing points, tray­ta­bles and more in next Rail­ways up­grade

Hindustan Times (Jalandhar) - - FRONT PAGE - Faizan Haidar n faizan.haider@hin­dus­tan­times.com

NEW DELHI: Tray-ta­bles and charg­ing points for ev­ery seat, bet­ter seat cov­ers, new taps in toi­lets, even pho­to­graphs in pas­sages, th­ese are some of the up­grades planned by In­dian Rail­ways for 2,000 old coaches it plans to re­fur­bish this year at a cost of ₹600 crore as part of its ef­fort to bet­ter cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ence.

Over the next few years, In­dian Rail­ways plans to do the same to 40,000 of the 59,000 coaches on its trains.

“We have taken many ini­tia­tives to change the in­te­ri­ors and ex­te­ri­ors of trains and im­prove the stan­dards of rail­way coaches. While other ini­tia­tives are for se­lected trains, mostly ex­press ones such as Ra­jd­hani and Shatabdi, an um­brella project has been taken up to re­fur­bish coaches on the ba­sis of re­quire­ment. Over 40,000 coaches will be re­fur­bished in com­ing years,” said Ra­jesh Ag­gar­wal, mem­ber (rolling stock) of Rail­way Board, the apex de­ci­sion mak­ing body of the trans­porter.

He added that this would be done when the coaches go for their an­nual main­te­nance so as to avoid any dis­rup­tion in op­er­a­tions.

In ad­di­tion to chang­ing taps and mir­rors in toi­lets if they need to be re­placed, In­dian Rail­ways is also plan­ning to in­stall new fans.

“This will in­crease the life of coaches and from a pas­sen­ger’s point of view, re­fur­bish­ment is im­por­tant. Things like cur­tains and bath­room fit­tings need to be changed,” said RK Singh, for­mer chair­man of Rail­way Board.

The plan is to only fo­cus on coaches less than 20 years old.

“About 8,000 coaches are more than 20 years old and we are not in­vest­ing in them as they will be of no use once they are 25 years old. We are fo­cus­ing on coaches less than 20 years old and zones have been asked to iden­tify and tell the coach fac­tory about the parts that are re­quired to be changed. Seat cov­ers will also be changed and wall pa­per will be placed to change the look (of the coach),” the sec­ond rail­way board of­fi­cial said. Rail­ways also plans to de­velop 640 Utkr­isht rakes as part of the upgra­da­tion of its mail/ex­press trains in the next two years at a cost of ₹400 crore. “Un­der Utkr­isht scheme we are mak­ing changes across the train, while in re­fur­bish­ment, ev­ery coach will be in­spected and ma­jor changes car­ried out. In Utkr­isht, the cost per coach will be around ₹2.5 lakh.

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