SCR to replace conventional coaches with German LHB

SECUNDERABAD: In pursuance of the railway board’s instruction to beef up amenities for passengers, South Central Railway is set to replace conventional coaches of mail, express and superfast trains with German-based Linke Hofmann Busch (LHB) coaches. The railways have not yet set a deadline for the replacement of the conventional coaches that are currently being used in the zone.

“The process of replacement might take some time as we shall have to depend on the procurement of new LHB coaches manufactured at the rail Coach Factory, Kapurthala and Integral Coach Factory, Chennai. Since it is a central government decision, we hope that the coaches will roll out in this zone within lesser time,” said a railway official.

The new coaches will augment the capacity of carrying more passengers as each of it has 23.54 meter length and 3.24 meter width. The seats are ergonomically designed much to the comfort of passengers, modular toilets with handfree taps, automating IC sliding doors, lights over individual seats, GPS based passenger system, diffused LED lighting, special exterior painting with anti-graffiti coating and last but not the least, high speed potential.

Trial runs of the LHB coaches have already begun in the zone with seven trains, Ajmer-Hyderabad Meenakshi express, Vijayawada-Dharmavaram express, Secunderabad-Vijayawada intercity express, Hundry express, Bidar-Hyderabad intercity express, Hyderabad-Sirpur Kaghaznagar intercity express and Rayalaseema express.

On December 25, the railways have also added one such cutting-edge coach, ‘Anubhati’ to Secunderabad-Pune Shatabdi express and the passengers who book tickets for this particular coach have to shell out 1.2 times higher than the executive class, according to sources. Other charges like reservation fee, superfast surcharge and GST are levied on the passengers separately.