India

Only AC coaches on trains running at over 130 kmph

NEW DELHI: Railways will phase out sleeper coaches on mail and express trains that will run at 130 kmph or above on its tracks. Such trains will have only AC coaches as it plans to upgrade the network.
While railway ministry officials said trains running at less speed will continue to have the sleeper coaches, the railways has set the December 2023 deadline to complete the upgradation of Delhi-Mumbai and Delhi-Howrah to enable trains to run at 160 kmph. This means most of the future long distance trains on these corridors won’t have sleeper coaches.
Sources said though the railways have had this plan for quite some time, this has gained pace recently and more particularly when the Indian Railways is finalising the zero-based time table for future trains.
A railway ministry spokesperson said the ticket prices of such trains will be affordable and it should not be “misconstrued” that all non-AC coaches will be made into AC coaches.
He added AC coaches have become a technical necessity wherever the speed of the train is going to be above 130 kmph. “Non-AC coaches will continue to run in trains running at 110 kmph…It will be ensured that while the price of tickets of modified AC coaches remains very affordable for the passengers, the comfort and conveniences increase manifold and there is substantial reduction in travel time,” he said. The spokesperson said currently an 83-berth coach is being designed. There is a plan to have 100 such coaches this year and 200 in the next year.
Officials said that the new AC coaches will be economical as their tickets will be priced between AC 3 and sleeper coaches. Compared to 72 berths in a sleeper coach, this new AC coach will have 83 berths, but the number of berths in a coupe will remain the same. However, there will be no extra middle berth between side-upper and side-lower berths.

News Sunoo

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