Non-AC sleeper coaches to be replaced by AC coaches for trains running at 130/160 kmph
New Delhi, Oct 11: As a step towards modernisation of its rolling stock, the Indian Railways is planning to convert all its non-air conditioned (non-AC) coaches to air-conditioned on high-speed routes.
At present, the national transporter is working on a plan to upgrade the railway network to a high-speed one. Tracks on golden Quadrilateral and Diagonals are being upgraded to cater to speeds of 130 kmph to 160 kmph (kilometre per hour).
"AC coaches become a technical necessity wherever the speed of the train is above 130 kmph. Non-AC sleeper coaches would be replaced by AC coaches only for trains which will run at 130/160 kmph," the Indian Railways said in a statement on Sunday.
AC coaches are essentially a technical need for trains running at 130/ 160 kmph. Speed potential of some of the corridors has already been upgraded to 130 kmph.
"Wind and weather factors demand that only certain types of coaches run at higher speeds. It is therefore not to be misconstrued that all non-AC coaches will be tirned into AC coaches," Railways clarified after reports suggested that all non-AC coaches would be converted to AC.
A prototype of an AC coach at the Rail Coach Factory, Kapurthala is being made and should be ready in few weeks, it added.
Presently, an 83-berth coach is being designed. It is planned to have 100 coaches this year and 200 next year. The coaches will be evaluated and the experience gained from the running of these coaches will lead to further progress.
"Modified AC coaches will come in place of non-AC coaches in trains running at speeds of 130/160 kmph and that too, because of technical and comfort necessity. Non-AC coaches will continue to run in trains running at 110 kmph," the statement added.
Railways said that it will ensure that while the price of tickets for modified AC coaches remains affordable for passengers, the comfort and conveniences will increase manifold along with a substantial reduction in travel time.