Indian Railways (IR) has launched new air-conditioned double-decker trains on the Delhi-Jaipur route. The daily service is expected to cover the distance in five hours.
Built at IR’s Rail Coach Factory (RCF) in Kapurthala, Punjab, each double-decker coach has the capacity to seat 120 people, 70% more than the 78 seats on existing Shatabdi cars.
The trains are also equipped with automatic doors, emergency windows and fire extinguishers.
With an operational speed of 110km/h and maximum of 160km/h, the trains will feature ten coaches, which comprise eight double-deckers and two generator cars.
IR received safety certification from the Commissioner of Railway Safety (CRS) for the new trains after meeting all requirements.
Indian Railway Minister Mukul Roy said that the design of the double-decker coaches was a challenge as the entire rail network and coach designs need to meet standard dimensions in length, breadth and height.
Roy noted that railway officials worked out a design to enable the accommodation of 120 passengers in the new coaches instead of 78 passengers in the existing Shatabdi chair cars.
The double-decker service between Mumbai and Ahmedabad is expected to be launched later in August, and were part of announcements in the country’s 2011-12 railway budget.
According to IR, the services did not start in 2011 due to a delay in getting safety clearance and manufacturing of the coaches.
Following the launch, Northern Railway will operate the Delhi-Jaipur service, while Western Railway will operate the Mumbai-Ahmedabad AC train.