The Indian Railways has decided to upgrade the non-air-conditioned (AC) sleeper coaches to AC ones for high-speed trains.
Aiming at saving travel time, it is already upgrading the tracks on Golden Quadrilateral and Diagonals, connecting the four metro cities, to cater to trains running at a speed of 130 km-160 km/hour (kmph).
Presently, only the Delhi-Mumbai and Delhi-Howrah sections of the Golden Quadrilateral are getting prepared.
According to an official statement by the Indian Railways, AC coaches are essentially a technical need for trains running at a speed of 130/160 kmph. “The speed potential of some of the corridors has already been upgraded to 130 kmph. Wind and weather factors demand that only certain types of coaches run at a higher speed. Hence, not all non-AC coaches will be upgraded for high-speed trains.”
It added a prototype of such an AC coach is being made at the Rail Coach Factory and that it should be ready in a few weeks. “Presently an 83-berth coach is being designed. It is being planned to have 100 coaches this year and 200 by next year. The coaches will be evaluated, on the basis of which further progress will be made.”
Railways further said that it will be ensured that while the price of tickets for the modified AC trains remains very affordable, the comfort and conveniences increase manifold.
Meanwhile, non-AC coaches will continue to be in trains running at 110 kmph, the Indian Railways said further.