NEW DELHI: The traditional dark blue colour train coaches are set for a makeover with the Indian Railways deciding to repaint all coaches in hues of grey and light blue to give them a vibrant look.
Railway Board has given a go ahead for repainting of all 55,000 Integral Coach Factory (ICF) coaches over a period of time. The first rake (set of coaches) of mail/express train donning new look is expected to roll out this year. The colour scheme is similar to the Shatabdi coaches.
There was a lot of mind boggling that happened over new colour scheme of repainted coaches and finally the Railway Board zeroed upon grey and light blue lining.
The existing colour palette of dark blue with light blue band on window was found to be dull and a need was felt to have more vibrant colours, according to a senior railway ministry official.
“The coaches will be repainted in a phased manner when they come for periodic overhaul (POH), which is in duration of 12-18 months. There will no extra financial cost to this and cost to railways for repainting remains same at Rs 60,000 per coach,” the official added.
The existing colour scheme was introduced in the late nineties and it replaced the brick red coloured coaches that were in prevalence for decades.
The new colour scheme for ICF coaches, conventional passenger coaches operational since 1950s, comes at time when the Ministry of Railways has decided to stop manufacturing them starting April 1, 2018.
“Railway has decided to only manufacture Linke Hofmann Busch (LHB) coaches from next financial year. But replacing 55,000 ICF coaches will take time and it was thought that colour scheme can be changes when they comes for annual overhaul,” the official added.
A similar kind of colour scheme with grey, navy blue and yellow was chosen by railways for its new coaches for the semi-high speed sectors clocking 160 kmph. These coaches are being manufactured by Rail Coach Factory, Kapurthala.
The railway ministry in 2015 had roped in had roped in two government institutes—Delhi-based National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) and Ahemdabad-based National Institute of Design (NID) for providing designs for modern coaches.
The NID under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry was roped in October 2015 to give railways an image makeover by providing new designs of ladder for upper birth, lighting, interiors, toilets and user friendly coaches. Railway had provided seed money of Rs 10 crore to NID to complete the work within 10 years.