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New AC coaches inducted into Railways 

Jyoti Mukul  
New Delhi, March 16: The Railways on Thursday inducted new airconditioned coaches manufactured by German major Alstom LHB.

The Railways has finalised a contract with Alstom in 1995 as part of which the German company will supply 24 airconditioned Shatabdi coaches together with the transfer of technology. Alstom manufactures all types of rolling stock.

The contract also incorporates bogies from Fiat SIG, Switzerland. In addition to the supply of the design for the executive class, AC chair car and generator car for Shatabdi coaches, the design layouts of AC 1st, AC sleeper and AC pantry car used for Rajdhani trains are also to be finalised. Besides, the development of self-generation bogie for use in general coaches is also covered.

The contract includes not only the delivery of all design and manufacture documents and jigs and fixtures prepared and used by Alstom LHB for this contract but it also includes training of railway personnel in design and manufacture in the factories in Germany and Switzerland. During the manufacture of the coaches now under delivery by Alstom technical assistance will take place in the Rail Coach Factory at Kapurthala. The coaches will be later manufactured at Kapurthala and Integral Coach Factory at Chennai.

Development of further coach types by the Railways will also be part of this technical assistance.The Railways will have to pay about Rs 5 crore for one coach but after indigenisation the cost will substantially come down. Each coach is equipped with two compact roof-mounted air-conditioning units which have a cooling capacity of approximately 2x22.5 kw and a heating capacity of 2x6 kw and which are controlled by a microprocessor. The coach is longer and can carry 78 passengers against 67 in the existing design.

The coach weight has also been reduced by around 7 tonne. This will lead to lower hauling costs and fuel saving of about 15 per cent.

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