Repair and improvement in railway coaches is a continuous process on Indian Railways (IR). Here is a brief description of information given by the Minister of Railways and Commerce & Industry, Mr. Piyush Goyal in a written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha.
The Indian Railway is a major opportunity for the country’s MSME ecosystem.
Railways Minister mentioned the following points regarding various steps taken by railways in the area of maintenance of railway coaches:-
- The coaches running on IR are given periodic stipulated maintenance schedules during which required repairs are attended to.
- Systems are in place in order to ensure that passenger coaches that have completed their prescribed service life or are unfit for service, are not allowed in train service over IR.
- IR also undertakes Mid-Life Rehabilitation (MLR) of conventional Integral Coach Factory (ICF) type Mainline coaches, that are in service for 12-15 years, in a programmed manner. Extensive body repairs, bogie repairs, wheel overhauling, trimming of berths, water tank repairs, painting etc. are done on these coaches.
The various steps taken by IR to induct / replace existing coaches with new / improved version coaches are:-
- With a view to provide safer and more comfortable journey to the travelling passengers, it has been decided to proliferate/induct modern Linke Hofmann Busch (LHB) coaches and convert trains operating with conventional ICF type coaches by LHB coaches, in a phased manner. To this end, Production Units of IR are producing only LHB coaches from 2018-19 onwards and presently, 411 pairs of trains on IR are being operated with LHB coaches. Recently, state-of-the-art Train-set Vande Bharat service has also been introduced between New Delhi – Varanasi.
- IR had launched Project Utkrisht in April 2018 in order to improve the condition of coaches running in Mail / Express trains. Upgradation of 640 rakes of Mail / Express trains has been taken up under Project Utkrisht for improvement in patronized train services. On Board cleanliness, coach interiors, toilets, exterior etc. in train coaches will improve under Project Utkrisht. The coaches will also be painted with a new vibrant colour scheme. Work in more than 135 rakes has already been completed under Project Utkrisht.
- IR had launched Project Swarn in May 2017 with the objective of significantly improving the passenger experience across multiple dimensions, which include coach interiors, toilets, onboard cleanliness, staff behaviour, linen, etc. in premium Rajdhani and Shatabdi train services. Work in 58 out of 67 rakes has already been completed.