Rail coaches made of stainless steel instead of carbon steel can minimise the impact of train accidents, an industry body has said.
“If all the railway coaches in the country could be made of stainless steel instead of carbon steel, it can bring down the number of lives lost in train accidents significantly,” the Indian Stainless Steel Development Association (ISSDA) said referring to recent train accident in Muzaffarnagar district of Uttar Pradesh that claimed 22 lives.
It said the use of stainless steel in passenger coaches is a common practice in developed economies such as the US, Canada, Brazil, Japan, Korea and Australia and in many East Asian countries.
Stainless steel coaches also ensure safety and reliability through super fire and corrosion resistance, the association said, adding that the intrinsic weight of vehicle decreases, thereby increasing its load carrying capacity and fuel efficiency.
In case of accidents, stainless steel undergoes lesser deformation, which further helps in rescue operations, it said.
“Over 23 million people commute through trains in India on a daily basis. There is an urgent need to migrate to stainless steel coaches to improve safety of rail passengers … Indian Railways are already seized of the matter and taken up programme for increasing manufacture of LHB stainless steel coaches,” said K K Pahuja, President, ISSDA.
The association said Indian Railways, at present, is using stainless steel coaches in LHB designs only for Rajdhani, Shatabdi and other premium trains.
LHB coaches are designed to be anti-telescopic, which means that they do not pile up over each other in the event of derailment, it said.
Stainless steel coaches are stronger and absorb more energy during collision and they can withstand considerable impact without fracturing, it said.