Indian Railways removes two decades old hitch: Smoother travel now on premium trains
After 20 years, the Indian Railways has managed to get rid of the all-too-familiar jolts and swaying that passengers experience while travelling on board premium trains.
Rajesh Agrawal, Railway Board Member Rolling Stock told The Indian Express. “The Rolling Stock team in RDSO, Zones and Board then reviewed the designs, technicals etc and embarked on a mission mode to eliminate jerks within six months starting in November 2018.”
Premium trains like Rajdhani have been infamous for the jolts that passengers experienced, especially at high speeds and also while braking, taking away the comfort such trains promised.
- The job took two years at a cost of around Rs 5 lakh per coach. All trains have now been covered.
- The last set of remaining trains was retrofitted with this solution in South Eastern Railway.
- Premium trains like Rajdhani, have been infamous for the jolts that passengers experienced.
- Especially at high speeds and also while braking, taking away the comfort such trains promised.
- Some of the common complaints on board premium trains like Rajdhani are teacups spilling over.
- Other issues are, passengers being jolted from berths and even losing balance while walking in the aisles.
Initiatives towards better travel experience
The unstable nature and faults of the couplers posed a safety issue, with no solution sight. The issue had even led to questions being raised in both Houses of Parliament and its committees.
The matter has been serious enough for the Ministry of Railways to insert this program into its Rs 1 lakh crore Rashtriya Rail Sanraksha Kosh or special safety fund of the government.
The retrofit solution to eliminate the jerks involved replacing the single pack draft gear or floating plate draft gear with balanced draft gear in the Centre Buffer Couplers (CBC).
While CBCs had a fault of allowing internal movement that amplified into jolts and swaying, the new balance draft gear is equipped with shock-absorbers.
The Research Designs and Standards Organisation has been asked to work on a new design of couplers that do not allow the gap to develop even after wear and tear.N
Now, drivers are also being counselled to use dynamic braking at speeds above 30kmph in order to completely smoothen the buffing forces.