Indian Railways is planning to redesign three-tier sleeper class and unreserved general class coaches as air-conditioned (AC) carriages to improve the passenger travel experience.

According to The Indian Express report, the Rail Coach Factory in Kapurthala will build the prototype of the upgraded sleeper class coach. The carriage will feature 83 berths instead of the usual 72.

The upgraded variant will be known as AC three-tier Tourist Class, an official told the publication.

In the first phase, 230 such coaches will be manufactured with each costing around Rs30m ($408,543).

The cost is around 10% more than the manufacturing cost of the current AC three-tier Class coach.

However, the railways expect that additional berths on AC three-tier Tourist Class and demand will fetch more earnings.

The unreserved general class coaches will also be reconfigured as a 100-seater AC Class. The design of the coach is currently being finalised.

Both the upgraded versions will be developed on the Linke Hofmann Busch (LHB) platform as Indian Railways is gradually phasing out the older ICF variant.

The plan to upgrade the sleeper and general coaches is part of the government’s plan to switch to an all-AC model. However, a formal decision has not been taken.

National High-Speed Rail (NHSRCL), the entity entrusted to develop a bullet train project in India, recently issued a tender for the proposed high-speed rail corridor between Mumbai and Nagpur.

The tender floated is for survey works, identification of overhead, overground, underground utilities, and power sourcing options for substations.