New Delhi, May 31 (PTI) The Rail Coach Factory (RCF), Kapurthala on Monday rolled out 15 AC 3-tier economy class coaches that will be attached to various mail and express trains.
RCF general manager Ravinder Gupta flagged off the rake this evening.
The AC 3-tier economy is touted to be the Railways' most affordable class of air-conditioned travel.
The prototype of the AC 3-tier economy class was rolled out from the RCF for oscillation trials on February 10, just three months after the idea was conceived, a statement from the coach factory said.
The design of the coach includes a redesigned AC duct to provide individual vents for each berth. The coach also has an improved and modular design of seats and berths, foldable snack tables in both longitudinal and transverse bays, injury-free spaces and holders for water bottles, mobile phones and magazines, the statement said.
Individual reading lights and mobile charging points are provided for each berth in addition to standard sockets, it said.
The number of berths in the new coach has been increased from 72 to 83. The coach also has wider doors, making it convenient for specially-abled passengers, it said.
The RCF plans to manufacture 248 such coaches in the current and the next fiscal years.
Gupta said, 'It's the cheapest and finest AC travel in the world and is a landmark in the glorious journey of the RCF. This product will bring many changes in rail travel which will now be more convenient besides being safer and faster.' He said in view of the government's COVID-19 guidelines, only 50 per cent of the RCF's staff was engaged in manufacturing the coaches.
'Besides, due to the lockdown in most parts of the country, the supply of railway material to the RCF was greatly affected. Despite this, the RCF administration and staff, working with full commitment, produced more than 100 coaches in May 2021 which is very encouraging,' he added.
Asked about the fare for the AC 3-tier class coach, Gupta said it will be decided by the Railway Board.
Officials said the AC 3-tier class is the only travel class in railways that makes a clear profit for the national transporter. The AC 3-tier economy class is expected to offer AC travel to the masses while keeping the fares affordable.
At present, the cost is estimated to be between Rs 2.8 and Rs 3 crore per coach, which is around 10 per cent more than the existing AC 3-tier coaches.
'The earning potential of these coaches is also higher for the national transporter, owing to more capacity,' an official said. PTI ASG CORR CHS VSD DIV DIV