Rlys plans to switch to German coaches by ’16

The railways plans to switch over from indigenous ICF coaches to German technology based Linke Holfmann Bush (LHB) ones in all mail and express trains within the next five years.The LHB coaches, which have fire-retardant quality and advanced couplers, are designed to minimize fire accidents. The move is aimed at infusing more safety measures in train operations, with railways expected to enhance production capacity of its coach factories to 2,000 LHB coaches in 2014-15 and another 4,000 in 2016-17.

The modern coaches that are made of stainless steel have more in-built safety features, and can absorb shock and impact of derailment more effectively. A senior rail official said, “The sturdy and robust design obviates capsizing of coaches in case of accidents. This helps to minimize damage and reduce the loss of lives.” The casualties in the recent Kalka derailment could have been much less if the train was running on LHB coaches, he said. The state-transporter is planning to introduce LHB coaches in mail and express trains in a phase manner by 2016-17 as they are equipped with fire-retardant material and advanced couplers.

Unlike indigenous ICF coaches, which are prone to capsize or climb on each other during a collision, the LHB bogies don’t get toppled. Apart from restricting the speed limit to 105 kmph on mail line and 110 kmph on Rajdhani tracks, ICF coaches raise safety concerns due to a large number of hanging under-gear parts. Though a traditional coach costs Rs 1.5 crore each against a LHB one that comes for Rs 2.5 crore-Rs 3 crore. The modern coaches are more comfortable, have a higher life-span of 35 years against ICF’s 25 years, and also have a 12%-15% higher passenger capacity that can raise revenue.

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Published in: on July 24, 2011 at 12:17 pm  Leave a Comment  
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