The Indian Railways is planning to induct about 40,000 coaches with improved interiors and upgraded facilities at an estimated cost of Rs. 8,000 crore to provide world-class comfort to passengers.
Besides, the state-run transporter will strengthen safety features in all existing conventional coaches equipping them with strong couplers to prevent capsizing during accidents.
According to the plan, coaches will be retrofitted with refurbished interiors, improved seating arrangement and newly designed bio-toilets among other facilities.
The retrofitting would cost about Rs. 30 lakh per coach.
The target is to complete the process of refurbishing of coaches with improved interiors and modern facilities in the next five years.
The aim is to make available 40,000 new-look coaches in the railway fleet by 2023, said a senior Railway Ministry official involved with the project.
The work plan envisages retrofitting of 1000 coaches in the current fiscal, the number will increase to 3000 in the next fiscal and 5,500 coaches in subsequent years.
Railways also expect to manufacture 15,000 new coaches with modern features during 2018-19 and 2022-23 periods.
Railways is also focusing on the safety front by equipping all conventional coaches with centre buffler couplers (CBC), a strong coupler system.
The CBC system prevents coaches from capsizing.
While LHB coaches manufactured at Kapurthala and Raebareli factories are equipped with centre buffler couplers, the conventional coaches manufactured by the Integral Coach factory in Chennai do not have CBC.
Now it has been decided to equip all conventional coaches with CBC which enhances safety by providing anti-climbing features. It would cost about Rs. 28 lakh to equip CBC in a coach.