Central Railway to roll out rake with cushioned seats in second class

Central Railway is all set to roll out its first Electrical Multiple Unit (EMU) rake with cushioned seats in the second class compartment, promising a comfortable ride to lakhs of passengers.

The cushioned seats have been provided in the white and purple EMU rakes that have been delivered from the Integral Coach Factory, Chennai.

A CR official said, “The rake is lying in the Kurla car shed, where some technicians are trying to sort out some electrical problem. We hope to make it ready to run on the tracks within a week. The 12-car has been provided cushion seats by an in-house technical team at the Matunga workshop at an estimated cost of Rs 10-12 lakh.”

The official said, “The cushion has been made of rubberized coir material, which are fire retardant and also provide comfort to passengers. The seat cover is made of artificial leather, similar to the ones used in the first class compartment.”

Apart from being heat and moisture resistant, coir is also considered to be moth-proof and flame retardant. Coir Fibre is tough, durable and can spring back to shape even after constant use. In case of a fire, smoke emanating from the coir is considered non-poisonous. Since coir has not much of market value, it will also ensure that anti-social elements do not vandalize the seats.

Coir is cheaper compared to Rubber foam or polyurethane material, which is used for making cushioned seats in the first class compartment. Moreover, foam is expensive and has to be treated with chemicals to make it fire retardant.

There is not much difference between the cushioned seats in the first and second class. The official said, “The first class has cushioned seat with 4-inch density, while the ones in second class will have 2-inch density.”

Since it is pilot project, trial runs of this rake will be undertaken after which a final decision will be taken whether to provide such facilities on all the rakes. The existing seat arrangement made of wood/hardboard can accommodate four passengers. Comparatively, cushioned seats will not provide grip for a fourth commuter, a major drawback.


Published in: on June 2, 2012 at 4:37 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Green rakes to net WR 2cr per year in carbon credits

Western Railway’s (WR) move to switch its network from 1,500V Direct Current (DC) to 25,000V Alternating Current (AC) will net it carbon credits worth Rs 2 crore per annum. This is because WR is now going to utilize rakes with regenerative braking features compatible with both DC and AC systems on its network, which will help it save energy.

The decision to switch from DC to AC necessitated the use of rakes that were compatible with the new power system. As aresult, WR had to phase out all the DC-compatible rakes in favour of those that can ply on dual AC-DC system. As of now, 83 (77 Siemens and 6 Alstom) AC-DC Electrical Multiple Unit (EMU) rakes are in operation.
Of these, 66 rakes have been registered under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Sharat Chandrayan, chief public relations officer, WR said, “It is estimated that these rakes will reduce overall emission of CO2by 10,278 tonne. Carbon credits accrued to WR every year due to this will be approximately Rs 2 crore. Eleven more rakes are proposed to be registered under the UNFCCC, and their benefits on the carbon credits front will accrue proportionately in future.” The DC-AC rakes are energy-efficient as they have regenerative braking, where on application of brakes, the traction motor works like a generator and converts kinetic energy into electrical energy. The generated energy is fed back to the overhead equipment and used by other trains running on the section.

Lower electricity consumption will mean reduced fuel consumption in power plants and will automatically lead to reduced carbon dioxide emissions. DC-AC EMU rakes consume 30% less energy than conventional DC rakes.
Chandrayan said, “In the last one year, WR has increased 12-car services by 25%. In spite of the 10% increase in traction tariff by power suppliers,we have saved Rs 12.75 crore in the last 10 months on the traction energy bill.”