December 2020 added another feather to the cap of the Integral Coach Factory (ICF) as its new design vistadome tourist coach successfully completed the 180 kmph trial run.
The announcement was made by Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal.
Taking to Twitter, Goyal said: "Ending the Year on a Great Note: Indian Railways' successfully completed 180 kmph speed trial of new design vistadome tourist coach. These coaches will make train journeys memorable for the passengers and give further boost to tourism."
A senior railway ministry official told news agency IANS: "The oscillation trial run was held last week, in which the newly built coach completed the 180 kmph test successfully in the KOta division of West Central Railway. The trial run was completed seven days earlier than scheduled."
He said, "Even squeeze test of the new vistadome coach was completed in ICF earlier this month."
According to the report, the vistadome tourist coach has a larger viewing area and observation lounge, including rooftop glass with 44 seats for passengers with rotation up to 180 degrees. The coach also has a Wi-Fi-based passenger information system.
The official said that for the first time the vistadome coach has been built on the LHB platform, which is safer.
Here are the other stand-out features of the new vistadome coaches:
• Equipped with air-spring suspension in secondary stage for better ride comfort
• Large glass windows and glass roof that boast electrically controlled opalescence
• Transparent roof for the passengers to get a panoramic view of their journey
• Observatory lounge with a larger window at one end.
• In the newly built coaches, a mobile charging socket has been provided for each passenger below the seat arm rest.
• The entertainment system has been integrated with digital display screens and speakers for music lovers.
• "Content on Demand" Wi-fi facility provided on personal gadgets of passengers.
• Wider entrance doors for persons with disabilities on wheel chairs and automatic sliding doors at the compartment's entry on both sides.
• The new coaches are connected with GPS based Public Address-cum Passenger Information System (PAPIS).
• Sunk-in type LED destination board.
• Stainless steel multi-tier luggage racks outside the passenger area.
• Mini pantry to provide refreshments to the passengers.
• Service area consisting of a hot case, microwave oven, coffee maker, bottle cooler, refrigerator and wash basin.
• The new coaches are also equipped with a CCTV system for on-board surveillance.
• Aesthetically designed interiors and FRP panelling.
• FRP modular toilets with pressurized flushing system.
• Bio tanks and automatic fire detection with an alarm system for safe travel.
The official further told IANS that the ICF will be manufacturing 10 such coaches at present, adding that two coaches have been rolled out and the balance will be finished before March 31 next year.
Two coaches which were rolled out have gone to the Central Railway, one of which had cleared the speed trials.
The older version of the vistadome coaches mostly run in tourist locations where visitors can indulge in sightseeing.
Some of the routes where these coaches are operated by the Indian Railways are:
• Dadar and Madgaon
• Araku Valley
• Kashmir Valley
• Darjeeling Himalayan Railway
• Kalka Shimla Railway
• Kangra Valley Railway
• Matheran Hill Railway
• Nilgiri Mountain Railway.
The ICF has turned out nine rakes of state-of-the-art 3 phase MEMU (Mainline Electric Multiple Unit) trains in December, the highest by any production unit of Indian Railways.
(With inputs from IANS)