The Indian Railways is all set to replace its sleeper class coaches with Air-Conditioned (AC) coaches in the trains that are capable of running at a speed of 130 kmph and above. The Ministry of Railways took the decision in a bid to upgrade its high-speed network.
“The non-AC sleeper coaches will be replaced by AC coaches for the trains that will be running at a speed of 130 kmph or beyond. Track on golden Quadrilateral and Diagonals are being upgraded to cater to a speed of 130 km to 160 km per hour. Non-AC sleeper coaches would be replaced by AC coaches only for such trains which will be running at 130 or 160 kmph”, The Railway Ministry's Spokesperson, DJ Narain. He added that the AC coaches were essentially a technical need for trains running on 130 or 160 kmph.
As per the reports, the coaches will be evaluated and experience gained from the running of these coaches will lead to further progress. “It will be ensured that while the price of tickets of the modified AC coaches remains very affordable for the passengers, the comfort and conveniences increase manifold and there is a substantial reduction in travel time”, the Ministry added. They said that currently only Delhi-Mumbai and Delhi – Howrah sections are getting geared up for that. A prototype of AC coach is being designed at the Rail Coach Factory in Kapurthala and is likely to be ready in the coming weeks. Presently, an 83 berth coach is being designed compared to the 72 berth that Railways usually has in AC coaches. According the reports, the Railways is aiming to have 100 such coaches this year and 200 by 2021. This is to be noted that the non-AC coaches will continue to run in trains running at 110 km/hour.