Indian Railways is working on a project that will revolutionise how ordinary people travel by train! A prototype of a new air-conditioned general second class coach will be rolled out by the end of this year. Indian Railways is looking to revamp unreserved second class coaches by making them air-conditioned, after introducing an Economy AC 3-tier train. Several of the other improvements are in the works in the coach to make train travel more convenient for the average person.
The Rail Coach Factory (RCF) in Kapurthala will produce the new AC general second class coach. General Manager of RCF, Ravinder Gupta, told that "This project will change the face of rail travel in India for the common man. Air conditioned general second class travel will become comfortable like never before". The new AC general second class coach's layout is being finalised, and RCF hopes to have a prototype ready by the end of the year.
Currently, a general second-class coach can seat up to 100 passengers and costs about Rs 2.24 crore to build. The new AC general second-class coach would be able to carry more passengers while still providing improved passenger facilities. These coaches will be used on long-distance Mail/Express trains that can reach speeds of 130 kilometres per hour. Coaches that aren't air-conditioned can't go faster than 110 km/h.
The Golden Quadrilateral and its diagonals are being upgraded by Indian Railways to accommodate train speeds of 130 kilometres per hour. Sleeper and general coaches are being air-conditioned in accordance with this vision. RCF recently unveiled a prototype of an Economy AC 3-tier coach, which will eventually replace sleeper class coaches on Mail/Express trains. During a recent trial, the Economy AC coach reached speeds of 180 Kmph. By the end of FY-22, Indian Railways will have produced 248 Economy AC 3-tier coaches. Once the Railway Board approves the layout and other designs, the development schedule for AC general second class coaches will be finalised.
The launch of Deen Dayalu coaches for unreserved passengers in 2016 was the last time Indian Railways upgraded its general second class coaches. Cushioned luggage racks, padded seats, coat hooks, aqua-guard type water filtration system, bio-toilets, more mobile charging points, toilet occupancy indicators, water level indicators, and other facilities were available on Deen Dayalu coaches.