To enhance passenger experience, Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu has launched a mega project to overhaul nearly 40,000 old coaches. Under its “Mission Retro-Fitment” project, the Indian Railways will equip the coaches with better interiors, safety features and amenities including LED lights, anti-graffiti paint coats, branded fittings, powered Venetian blinds and smoke alarm systems. Besides new safety features, “Mission Retrofitment is an endeavour to provide better travel experience as the interiors of the coaches would be refurbished,” the minister said.
Here are 10 things to know about Mission Retro-Fitment:
1) Indian Railways plans to induct about 40,000 coaches with upgraded interiors by 2022-23, the transporter in a press release.
2) The programme includes refurbishing of coaches which includes upgradation with improved interiors. The approximate cost for this task is estimated at Rs. 30 lakh per coach.
3) The railways said 57 coaches have already been refurbished by Coach Rehabilitation Workshop, Bhopal and the refurbished coaches are running in Varanasi-New Delhi Mahamana Express since 22 January, 2016.
4) Besides fitment of panels without visible screws, LED lights, modular toilets with concealed plumbing, branded fittings, powered Venetian blinds and anti-graffiti coating, the refurbishing task would include enhanced safety features such as fire and smoke detection system (in newly manufactured AC coaches), double acting compartment doors (in AC coaches) and rounded edges at most locations for injury-free.
5) The refurbished coaches will also have bio toilets, passenger address/information systems, braille signage, ergonomic design and an increased number of mobile and laptop charging points, the railways said.
6) The Indian Railways plans to use better materials for the task, such as polycarbonate ABS, advanced composites, glass fibre reinforced plastic and stainless steel, among other features.
7) Indian Railways envisions improved passenger experience with its overhauling project.
8) “By 2020, Indian Railways would provide a new travel experience to the passenger over Indian Railways. This mission is challenging as it will be carried out without affecting the traffic operation,” Mr Prabhu added.
9) In addition, for retro-fitment of Centre Buffer Coupler (CBC) with balanced draft gear, the transporter has estimated an approximate cost of Rs. 28 lakh per coach.