Kochi: Rajdhani Express trains in India will run with the smart Tejus style* sleeper coaches soon. Presently, these smart coaches are attached to the Mumbai-Delhi Rajdhani on an experimental basis. Gradually, all Rajdhani trains, including the Nizamuddin-Thiruvananthapuram service, will have smart coaches, which offer better comfort, safety and world-class features.
According to the Indian Railways, the coaches have sensors making them smart. These sensors would indicate possible defects that could emerge in a coach in advance. This would enable the maintenance staff to repair coaches before the problems crop up.
Passenger Information and Coach Computing Units (PICCU) with GSM network connectivity on the coaches are attached to the sensors and the possible faults are conveyed to the servers. This helps the maintenance section to check the information easily and carry out the repairs.
The smart coaches, built at the Modern Coach Factory of the Indian Railways at Rae Bareilly, will be attached to other long-distance trains also in future.
Features of smart coaches
LCD screens: Each coach has two LCD screens displaying information such as the next station, arriving time, speed of train and details regarding delayed running.
Digital destination boards: They are attached outside the coaches.
CCTV cameras: Each coach has six cameras, which have night-vision capabilities to ensure safety.
Automatic doors: Designed similar to the doors of Metro coaches, the doors are controlled by the guard. The train would move only after all the doors are closed.
Fire alarm: Apart from fire detection systems, automatic fire suppression system is installed in pantry and generator cars.
Talkback: Emergency talkback facility available in coaches. This enables passengers to talk directly to the loco pilot in case of an emergency.
Washrooms: Anti-graffiti coating on walls of washrooms, lights coming on when the door closes and colour toilet occupancy indicator are among the features.
Panic button: Washrooms have panic buttons for use in an emergency.
Audio message: After the door of the washroom closes, the occupant will hear audio instructions on the things to note.
Bio-vacuum: Smart coaches have bio-vacuum toilets similar to those in aircraft.
Special steel: Underframe SS 201LN grade steel is used to make the smart coaches to reduce corrosion.
Air suspension: Another feature of the smart coaches to enhance comfort.
More safety: Online checking of wheels and bearings increases safety.
Air quality: Facility to check the air quality inside the coaches is available.
Fire-proof material: Seats and berths made with fire-proof silicon form.
Windows: Instead of curtains, roller-blinds are installed on windows.
Berths: Each berth has a reading light and mobile charging point.
Steps: Conveniently-designed steps to reach the upper berths.
New Rajdhani via Kottayam sought
Meanwhile, train passengers in Kerala have demanded another Rajdhani Express along the Kottayam route on which the Thiruvananthapuram–New Delhi Kerala Express runs. Currently, the only Rajdhani Express running in Kerala connects Thiruvananthapuram and Nizamuddin via Alappuzha and the Konkan route three days a week.
Railway passengers’ associations point out that the new Rajdhani could utilize the vacant old time slot of the Chennai-Delhi Duronto Express from Nizamuddin to Vijayawada and the earlier time slot of Kerala Express from Renigunta to Palakkad for three days a week.
Even though Members of Parliament from Kerala Kodikkunnil Suresh and Hibi Eden had raised these demands, there has been no response from the Railways.
*Tejas Express is India's first semi-high speed fully air-conditioned train with ultra-modern coaches.