The Indian Railways has rolled out its first air-conditioned three-tier economy class coach which it has billed as the cheapest and best air-conditioned train travel in the world. As per Railway officials quoted in a PTI report, these coaches will be economical with fares in between the current non-AC sleeper class coach and AC three-tier coach.

As per TimesNowNews, the Linke Hofmann Busch (LHB) coach was rolled out for the upcoming trial from Rail Coach Factory (RCF) in Kapurthala to Research Design and Standards Organisation (RDSO), Lucknow. The coach was conceived by RCF and its design work started in October last year.

As per the report, the number of berths in the new AC three-tier economy class coach has been increased from 72 to 83 to accommodate more passengers.

Moreover, many other innovations have been incorporated in the design of the coach.

Features of the new AC 3-tier economy coach:

  • The interior of the coach has luminescent aisle markers, illuminated berth indicators with night lights and luminescent berth numbers.
  • The modular design of seats and berths, foldable snack tables
  • Wider toilet entry door, additional disabled-friendly toilet entry door
  • For accessing the middle and upper berths, a new ergonomically improved design of ladder has been provided
  • Injury-free spaces and holders for water bottles, mobile phones and magazines.
  • Individual reading lights and mobile charging points for each berth in addition to standard sockets

Railway Minister Piyush Goyal and the Ministry itself released a video on social media displaying the new AC three-tier economy class coach.

As per the Railway ministry, the high voltage electric switchgear which was installed on board in coaches has now been shifted below the under frame, which has allowed the increase in passenger capacity by making the introduction of 11 extra berths possible. Each of these coaches has been provided with a wider and one disabled-friendly toilet at the entry door.

Improvements such as redesigned air-condition ducting to provide individual vents for each berth has been made for optimum passenger comfort, the report says. The design for both Indian and Western-style lavatories has also been improved while passenger information systems have been installed as part of passenger facilities.

As per the video shared by Goyal, coach access has been improved with an ergonomic entrance. In terms of safety, there is an improved fire safety system, ensuring compliance to the world benchmark of EN45545-2 HL3 for materials.

The PTI report says that the RCF plans to produce 248 such coaches during the current and next fiscal.