The Indian Railways, amidst a massive restructuring project, has decided to upgrade its rolling stock infrastructure in the next two years by developing 640 ‘Utkrisht rakes at a cost of Rs 400 crore. According to reports, the first batch of the Utkrisht rakes has been rolled out as Kalka Mail from Howrah station and reached Delhi on Wednesday.
The project to develop new rakes, which will consist of 20-22 coaches, are being designed as ‘green’ rakes. The responsibility to develop these green rakes has been given to Eastern Railways and is being built in Liluah workshop, at a cost of Rs 60 lakh for each rake.
Rajesh Agarwal, Member of Rolling Stock, Railway Board, reportedly said, “Our aim is to develop 140 rakes by March 2019 after which we are planning to roll out 500 more by March 2020”. He further said that the new rakes will provide better facilities to passengers, including LED lightings, odourless toilets.
Reportedly, the coaches in the rake are installed with LED tube lights and LED light panels along the gangway and doorway to be energy efficient. The new coaches are fitted with dustbins in the toilets and AC coaches have been provided with integrated basin-cum-dustbins.
The rakes are also being given a new colour scheme of beige and maroon. In addition to this, the toilets are fitted with improved fittings and doorways have been vinyl wrapped. The coaches have night glow stickers and Braille signages inside them.
Swachh Rail Toilet, which is a hybrid design of the bio-toilet system, has been installed in the coaches. These toilets consume less water, do not choke, odourless and maintenance free.
Recently, the Indian Railways had adopted ‘green’ initiatives when they introduced the first of its kind non-AC coaches which come fitted with solar panels, which will be used to operate lights, fans and mobile charging points. According to the report, the solar panel’s installation is expected to save about Rs 3 crore for the railways over a 25 year period.