Wednesday, October 28, 2015

CHENNAI: With train passengers demanding more privacy at a premium, a group of engineers at the Integral Coach Factory (ICF) in Chennai has suggested that AC III tier and AC II tier coaches can have two cabins each with light-weight aluminium doors.

The railways has been removing curtains from AC III tier coaches to ensure cleanliness and to make the coaches fireproof. The ICF engineers' suggestion was included in a paper submitted at a technical seminar of Indian Railways Technical Supervisors Association (IRSTA) on Tuesday.

IRSTA member K V Ramesh, who presented the paper, said ICF can provide cabins in coaches without making changes in the existing layout. It can be provided on sleeper class coaches also. "Berths in these cabins of AC II tier and AC III tier and sleeper class coaches can be charged an extra of 20%, 15% and 10%," he said.

The design suggested in the seminar says two bays comprising eight berths in AC II tier and two bays comprising of 12 berths in AC III tier can be converted into cabins with doors.

A similar pattern has been suggested for sleeper class coaches. The arrangement would be convenient for families and people who travel in groups.

"Railways will be able to earn an additional 523.55 crore if these modifications are carried out and berths are charged at a premium of 14.2%," the engineer said. The paper says the railways will be able to earn 115.01crore from AC II tier, 207.59 crore from AC III tier, and 198.97 crore from sleeper class.

The figures were arrived at as per the statistics of coaches available with railways as shown in railway sector statistics for 2015-16 in the working group report for the 12th Plan.

The paper suggested elimination of toilets at one end of chair car coaches to accommodate more seats. This space can be used for 12 additional seats.

A senior ICF official said the suggestion is workable. "We will study the proposal and it to the railway board. The factory can make the changes after getting approval from railway board and the Research Design and Standards Organisation (RDSO)."

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