Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday praised the newly designed vistadome coaches developed by the Integral Coach Factory and said the comfort they will provide will make journeys more memorable.
The vistadome tourist coaches, which have a larger viewing area including a rooftop glass and 44 seats for passengers that can rotate up to 180 degrees, completed the 180 kmph trial run on Tuesday.
“Comfort and cutting edge technology! Will make train journeys more memorable,” the PM said in a tweet responding to Railway Minister Piyush Goyal’s post on the microblogging site introducing the new coaches.
“It is rightly said, ‘Journey is best measured in terms of memories rather than miles’. Take a look at the new Vistadome coaches of Indian Railways that will give an unforgettable travel experience to passengers and will ensure that they truly have a journey to remember,” tweeted Goyal.
The coach also has a Wi-Fi-based passenger information system and for the first time the vistadome coach has been built on the LHB platform, which is safer.
Among other stand-out features of the new vistadome coaches are that they are equipped with air-spring suspension in secondary stage for better ride comfort, large glass windows and glass roof that boast electrically controlled opalescence, a transparent roof for the passengers to get a panoramic view of their journey, and 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 armrest, an entertainment system integrated with digital display screens and speakers for music lovers. “Content on Demand” Wi-fi facility has been provided on personal gadgets of passengers, wider entrance doors for persons with disabilities on wheelchairs and automatic sliding doors at the compartment’s entry on both sides.
The 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 washbasin.
The new coaches are also equipped with a CCTV system for onboard surveillance and have aesthetically designed interiors and FRP paneling, FRP modular toilets with pressurised flushing system and bio tanks and automatic fire detection with an alarm system for safe travel.
The ICF will be manufacturing 10 such coaches at present. Two coaches have been rolled out and the remaining will be finished before March 31 next year.
The 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 and Nilgiri Mountain Railway.