Rail Coach Factory(RCF), Kapurthala rolled out Indian Railways first air-conditioned double decker rake , comprising 10 coaches (8 double deckers and 2 power cars). This rake has been offered to Eastern Railway/ Kolkata for running between Howrah and Dhanbad.
These stainless steel coaches have been introduced to cater to the heavy rush of commuters in high density corridors offering AC travel at a lower cost. “These new design coaches are capable to run at a speed of 160 kmph. The passenger carrying capacity has increased to 128 passenger in comparison to 78 passengers in Shatabdi chair car, thus increasing the capacity by almost 70%. Since this design has substantially lower tare weight per passenger, these coaches will be more energy efficient, said RCF, general manager Pradeep Kumar.
RCF, in association with RDSO/ Lucknow, finalised the design of double decker coaches and the first prototype of this type was rolled out for oscillation trials within a record time of 9 months on March 31, 2010.
The overall height of double decker coach has been increased marginally by 116 mm (four and a half inches) keeping in view the constraints like overhead structures, bridges, electric traction equipment, platforms etc. so that these coaches can be used without modifying any of the fixed structures except for clearing some minor infringements.
Space for the two decks has been generated by optimally using the well space between the two bogies. The End-On-Generation configuration has been used for train lighting and air-conditioning, in which power is supplied by two power cars, attached at both ends of the train. The new air-conditioned double decker coaches have many superior technical features like aesthetically pleasing stainless steel body, high speed Y-Frame bogies with air springs suspension for superior ride quality and many other safety related features. The chairs have been provided in face to face format, so that passengers can enjoy traveling with their families. For better safety, fire retardant upholstery has been used in chairs.
These coaches are clear illustration of Indian Railways capabilities in design and manufacturing of new types of rolling stock.