Indian Railways have decided that sleeper coaches of trains running at a speed of 130 kilometres per hour will be replaced with air-conditioned coaches in the near future as part of its plan to upgrade the network.
Railway ministry spokesperson D.J. Narain said the ticket prices of such trains will be affordable. He, however, added that it should not be misconstrued that all non-AC coaches will be made into AC coaches. Currently on most routes, speeds of mail/express trains have a ceiling of 110 kilometres per hour or lower.
Premium trains like Rajdhanis, Shatabdis and Durontos are allowed to operate at 120 kilometres per hour on significant parts of the Golden Quadrilateral and Diagonals. The rakes for such trains are fit to operate at 130 kilometres per hour or above, officials said.
AC coaches have become a technical necessity wherever the speed of the train is going to be above 130 kilometres per hour . Indian Railways is working on a massive plan to upgrade the railway network to high speed potential,”
Tracks on the Golden Quadrilateral and Diagonals are being upgraded to cater to speeds of 130 kilometres per hour to 160 kilometres per hour. The non-AC sleeper coaches would be replaced by AC coaches only for such trains which will be running at 130/160 kilometres per hour .
Non-AC coaches will continue to run in trains running at 110 kilometres per hour,” he said.
“It will be ensured that while the price of tickets of modified AC coaches remains very affordable for the passengers, the comfort and conveniences increase manifold and there is substantial reduction in travel time, Mr. Narain said.
Inputs from PTI