The Rail Coach Factory (RCF) at Kapurthala in Punjab has started manufacturing fireproof coaches. The railways intends to replace all outdated and general coaches with fireproof coaches.
According to a Railway Board official, fireproof coaches made of stainless steel have been produced on trial basis. Their design and other safety measures have been approved by technical experts. Under the new design, approved by the board, the curtains and other fittings inside the AC coaches are fire resistant. These fireproof coaches are being made of superfine stainless steel, he said.
The official said 40 such coaches have so far been rolled out from the RCF. These coaches are similar in look and design to the LHB German coaches being used in the Rajdhani and Shatabdi Express trains across the country, he said.
According to sources, the stainless steel coaches would be used in mail and express trains. Railways has started using stainless steel coaches in Rajdhani and Shatabdi Express trains on trial basis, sources said, adding that decision has been taken to indigenously manufacture bogies to reduce the making cost of such coaches. The German LHB technology used in manufacturing air-conditioned coaches is quite expensive. The indigenous technology with slight modifications is likely to reduce the manufacturing cost by about 40%, compared to the cost of production of one LHB coach, sources said.
At present, the east central railway (ECR) has more than 2,500 coaches, including AC and sleeper ones, which need immediate replacement to maintain foolproof safety, sources said