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News Entry# 287794
Dec 06 2016 (18:29)  Railways’ shift to safer LHB coaches will take time (
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News Entry# 287794     
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The aftermath of the Indore-Patna Express accident near Kanpur on November 21—that killed 150 passengers—might have seen a clamour for conventional train coaches to be replaced by safer superior Linke Hofmann Busch (LHB) ones, but that might take some time. Data obtained through Right to Information by DNA shows that for the financial year 2016-17, the Railways will be manufacturing more conventional coaches than LHB ones.
According to the coach production programme of the Railways issued by the mechanical department of the railway board, a copy of which is available with DNA, the Railways will make 1,883 conventional coaches and 1,614 LHB coaches this fiscal.
the 1,883 conventional coaches, the Integral Coach Factory-Chennai will make 1,118 coaches and the Rail Coach Factory-Kapur-thala the remaining 765 coaches.
The largest chunk under conventional category—700 coaches—would be Deen Dayalu coaches, a new segment for the lowest rung of rail passengers. These unreserved coaches will have potable water system, cushioned luggage racks, bio-toilets, mobile charging points, fire extinguishers among other amenities.
The LHB coaches will be built primarily at the newly-commissioned Modern Coach Factory at Rae Bareli in Uttar Pradesh, which will make 625 of these LHB coaches. The ICF would make 423 coaches and the RCF-Kapurthala 566 coaches. One of the biggest components of the LHB coach production schedule would be the construction of 154 Antyodaya coaches. These are also coaches for the unreserved traveller but with amenities similar to the ones found in the Deen Dayalu coaches, said officials.
Officials who spoke to DNA said that while there are plans to gradually upgrade all trains with conventional coaches to those with LHB ones, the process might take at least a couple of decades. “There are close to 50,000 coaches in the current fleet.
The serial production of LHB coaches started in 2002. “Most coaches have a codal life of 25 years, You can’t retire assets mid-way after all,” said a top rail official.
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