New Delhi, Oct 17 (IANS) Indian Railways will soon introduce a low-cost variant of German-designed stainless steel coaches with superior aesthetic features and enhanced passenger capacity.
'The stainless steel coaches will be built by RCF (Rail Coach Factory, Kapurthala) using German technology and will have superior aesthetics,' a senior railway official said.
Stainless steel coaches have been manufactured at the Kapurthala factory earlier as well, but these have so far been introduced only in premium trains such as Shatabdi and Rajdhani.
The plan now is to introduce such coaches, at a lower cost, for regular mail and express trains too.
'RCF has developed an innovative low-cost variant of the stainless steel coach, cutting the cost by about 40 percent of the original German-designed stainless steel coach,' the official, who because of official rules cannot be identified, said.
At the same time, he said, the seating capacity has also been increased.
'Normally the German-designed coaches that are used in Shatabdis and Rajdhanis come at Rs.2 crore (Rs.20 million or about $500,000), which is double the cost of normal coaches. That was the reason so far we were using the stainless steel coaches for our premium trains only. However the coaches using the new technology will be manufactured at a cost of Rs.1.2 crore (Rs.12 million), making them very cost-effective,' the official said.
The trials of this prototype have been completed successfully and work begun to roll out 100 such coaches apart from 150 original German-designed wagons during 2008-09.
The official said eventually, RCF would manufacture only the new type of coaches.
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