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Railway Rakes Re-designed: #Make-in-India

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on November 30, 2015 at 12:22 PM

In a wonderful manifestation of the #MakeInIndia campaign, Indian railway coaches are undergoing marvelous make-overs! Designed by Coach Rehabilitation Workshop (CRWS) in Bhopal, the new coaches are set to redefine comfort in rail-travel in India – with their luxurious interiors and amazing amenities. Would the new coaches improve our sense of social responsibility? Most likely, not. But here’s hoping these wonderful designs would make us ‘want’ to keep them clean too!

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Last week, a trial run of the first model rake of the Make-in-India railway coaches was successfully conducted between Bhopal and Bina railway stations. Driven by #MakeInIndia, the Coach Rehabilitation Workshop (CRWS) in Nishaputra, Bhopal has followed international design guidelines and customized them to Indian conditions.

The trial consisted of 24 coaches running at the speed of 120 km per hour. This project to refurbish the interiors of rail-coaches was launched in 2011 by the Indian Railways. The design concept was to create a homely environment for passengers on a train journey. West Central Railway (WCR) zone was given the responsibility to design the new model rakes.

All aspects and features were noted down in the report made during the trial run. In the first phase of the plan, 111 coaches including 87 non AC coaches, 17 coaches for AC 3 tier, five for AC 2 tier and one each for AC 1 tier and chair car coaches will be redesigned. Once the Railway Board clears the report of this trial run, the coaches will be first introduced on ISO certified trains and Rajdhani Expresses. Following this, phase two of luxury coaches will be launched. CRWS will also manufacture executive class chair car coaches for Shatabdi Express.

Highlights of the new design include: fresh colours like orange and purple for the now-wider berths, foldable snack tables added for side berths, printed carpet-like floors, jerk-less seats, LED lights and bio-toilets. Chair cars too are made much more comfortable – with wider seats and ample leg-room. Besides these, multi mobile charging panels and laptop charging points complement contemporary needs and lifestyles.

However the true success of #MakeInIndia lies in the way we use the new amenities. Keeping the seats/berths clean, not littering the floors, not spitting, not soiling the coaches with chewed betel-nut leaves, keeping toilets clean, are some of the core responsibilities that we must accept. A basic civic sense must be cultivated – in order to enjoy facilities and infrastructure provided. That’s the essence of the #SwachhBharatAbhiyan or the Clean India Mission! 

Though the redesigned rakes will surely improve the quality of rail travel, would they change the way we think, the way we behave, the way we treat public facilities? Probably not. But a step forward in the right direction is nevertheless positive and encouraging. 

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