Double-decker AC train may roll out before next budget

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Sporting a most modern look, one of the unique features of this train will be its design. Despite being double-decker, each coach would be of identical height as that of an EMU, diesel-driven or electric-driven long-distance trains, a spokesman of the KIRCF told the Deccan Herald here. Each double-decker train will comprise 18 coaches while each coach will feature 105 seats.

The design parameters that are set to match the international standards, will allow the train to be operated in other routes as well, specially in tracks that pass through long tunnels, he said.

“In fact, the Railway Ministry has plans to operate this special train in some routes where there is a tremendous potential for tourism. For instance, like ‘Palace on Wheels,’ this double-decker train is likely to be a major tourist draw,” he said. Once the ministry zeroes in on the place or places of tourism, the interiors of the coach will undergo a thorough refurbishing to suit the taste of that particular place. Each of the coaches will be fitted,for the first time,with “green toilet.” Besides being equipped with air flush,the human waste will be stored in a tank which will be cleaned with a special machine at the end of each journey. Presently, all wastes fall on the track and are hardly cleaned.

According to him, the shape and size of this new train will differ from the double-decker passenger train that presently operates in Surat, which is incidentally non-AC.
As of now, the double-decker AC train is set to run in the routes being serviced by popular Satabdi Expresses and fares will not exceed those of Rajdhani, it is learnt.

Meanwhile, Sam Pitroda who has been heading the Experts Committee of the Railways on use of technology, plans to introduce the “frequent flier” concept of airlines in the rail. Pitroda who is keen to revolutionise the entire railway operations by spreading the optical fibre network through the existing 60,000 km of track,told newsmen here that the railways “may think of implementing the frequent flier scheme to improve revenue and image among the travellers.”

Indicating that the railways will be employing technology on a much wider and higher scale in the coming years under his tutelage, Pitroda said the committee has been mulling introduction of mobile and other hi-tech devices to save cost and improve efficiency of the rail services.

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