PERAMBUR, CHENNAI: Tourists taking a trip on the Nilgiris Mountain Railway (NMR), a UNESCO world heritage site, can look forward to a different travelling experience. Fret not, you will still get to see the scenic valleys as the train chugs its way upto Udhagamandalam, but you will be doing so in comfort and through wide windows.
In about a year, the Integral Coach Factory (ICF) here will roll out modern coaches that will replace the existing ones. Senior ICF officials have said design for the new coaches has been finalised and work to produce them will be taken up shortly.
According to the officials, the revamped metre gauge coaches has been in the offing for the last few years, as the current batch has become old. The ICF is expected to turn out 15 coaches, in three variants, within the current financial year. “Design has been firmed up. Presently, we are procuring materials needed for manufacturing the coaches,” an official told Express. He added that work was likely to start in the third quarter of the year.
There are a couple of new features aimed at improving passenger experience. The most important aspect being the wide sliding windows, measuring about 2.2 metres. This will enable a panaromic viewing for passengers. ICF officials said there would be three variants of coaches, first class, second class and second class luggage van (SLR).
In what should come across as a positive step for persons with disabilities, the SLR coaches will have wide doors to facilitate their entry. There will also be space inside coaches for wheel-chair users.
“There will also be provision of space for keeping luggage near the doorways. Dustbins will be provided to keep the coach clean and there will be LED lights for illumination,” the official said.