Indian Railways have now started producing Economy AC 3-tier coaches in the Rail Coach Factory, Kapurthala. Under the new interior design, the number of seats will increase per coach from 72 to 83. This will result in an increased number of passengers boarding the same train. The question is, will it not reduce the leg space, or will it bring comfort to the boarding passengers. Read this article to know more.
AC 3-tier is the most profitable coach type for Indian Railways when it comes to revenue from passenger traffic. Hence, Indian Railways is giving no stone unturned to explore new ways of providing passenger comfort, and giving greater chances to occupy a 3AC seat. Over the years, modern LHB coaches have provided more seats in a train than older ICF coaches. Railway engineers have found out a major flaw in AC rakes on which they have started modification. This new economy 3AC class is a result of correcting the design flaw.
AC coaches require switch gears, transformers and other electrical devices which eat up a lot of space inside the coaches. Engineers have now planted these devices under the coaches, suspending them from the bottom of the coaches between the bogies. It freed up enough space for the addition of another 11 seats in AC 3-tier coaches. This will not compromise on the leg or luggage space previously available to the passengers. The same formula can be applied to AC 2-tier coaches, chair car and AC First Class coaches, which may increase their capacity. For a trial, this has been applied only to 3AC coaches as these are the most profitable coaches of Indian Railways attracting a lot of passengers, who want to put a lot of expenses, and at the same time get good facilities as well.
Moreover, no extra profit will be earned by the Railways, as the prices of Economy 3AC coaches will reduce by 8% of normal 3AC coaches. The reduction in fare of 3AC coaches will attract more passengers who previously travelled in only the non-AC sleeper class. In the long term, the loss-prone non-AC sleeper and second seating class will be completely replaced by profitable AC coaches, be it chair car or sleeper. The economic coaches, being new, will have modern amenities like personal reading lights, personal AC outlet, personal charging socket, which are essential requirements to most passengers.
Will all these attract more people to take the train to their travel destinations? The initial results of revamping rail coaches with modern facilities have been a success. The Prayagraj-Jaipur express is the first train to get Economy 3AC coaches in view of demand. 2 more trains, New Delhi-Lucknow AC special and Lucknow Mail, will be allotted Economy 3AC coaches very soon. So plan your next ride in an Economy 3AC coach with a flushed interior and reduced price to your next travel destination.
Written by – Himadri Paul