NEW DELHI: The Railways will soon be giving trains a makeover and one that isn’t just skin-deep. For the first time, colour schemes and designs are being selected based on the psychological and emotional impact they would have on the passengers.
Shades of Power
The colours of trains changed as per the tastes of successive Railway Ministers
- Ram Vilas Paswan: Blue
- Nitish Kumar: Blue and off white Jan Shatabdi coaches
- Lalu Yadav: Green and yellow Garibrath
- Mamata Banerjee: Duronto trains with green and yellow livery, and yellow and red double-decker trains
Yellow is the colour of happiness, red of wealth and passion, and blue often associated with the idea of India presented through indigo cultivation. Infusing these colours with geometrical figures like triangles, cones, straight lines and even arrows is what the Railways has in mind as part of its modern look.
The predominant blue on the trains will be replaced with a soothing yellow, brick red and shades of grey. But blue will not be discarded completely and will remain an integral part of the new colour scheme. Along with the colours, modernistic designs reflected through geometric patterns will also be painted on the body of the trains.
Officials say the change in the colour scheme won’t cost much and will be adjusted in the available budget. At present, it costs the railways Rs 5 lakh for painting a coach while the new colour scheme will cost Rs 6 lakh – an increase of Rs 1 lakh per coach. Initially, Railways will implement the new colour code on a few trains, after which the cash-strapped public sector giant will take a final call based on the feedback received.
It is for the first time that the public sector behemoth has roped in experts from Athe National Institute of Design to give an aesthetic and modern look to the trains. The institute has recently submitted electronic colour code samples to Railways Coaching Directorate and is likely to provide paper design and panels by mid-September. Designs and colour schemes will most likely be finalised by October 15.
The idea to change the colour of the coaches was mooted by Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu, keeping in mind a changing economy, geo-political situation and people’s aspiration. “The NID is designing a colour scheme keeping in mind not just the visual impact, but psychological and emotional impact these colours would have on passengers,” said a senior Railway Ministry official.
Previous Railway Ministers had experimented with colour schemes as well, but those were limited to a few sets on special trains. Blue coaches were seen during the tenure of Ram Vilas Paswan. His successors also experimented with colours on new trains-- Jan Shatabdi by Nitish Kumar, Garib Rath by Lalu Yadav and Duronto by Mamata Banerjee.