Demand surge: Railways to build more general coaches

Out of 6,325 LHB coaches to be produced for 2024-25, a total of 4,075 will be sleeper and general class coaches.
According to the revised plan issued by the railway board on June 27, the number of general class (2nd sitting) coaches will be increased from 1,171 to 2,000 for 2024-25.
According to the revised plan issued by the railway board on June 27, the number of general class (2nd sitting) coaches will be increased from 1,171 to 2,000 for 2024-25.(File photo)

CHENNAI: Owing to repeated incidents of general class passengers occupying air-conditioned reserved coaches, the railways have revised their annual production plan to increase the production of general class/second class coaches.

This change marks a reversal of the railways’ recent plans to phase out sleeper and general class coaches from long-distance trains in favour of producing more 3rd AC coaches. Out of 6,325 LHB coaches to be produced for 2024-25, a total of 4,075 will be sleeper and general class coaches.

According to the revised plan issued by the railway board on June 27, the number of general class (2nd sitting) coaches will be increased from 1,171 to 2,000 for 2024-25. These coaches will be manufactured by the Integral Coach Factory (Chennai), Rail Coach Factory (Kapurthala), and Modern Coach Factory (Raebareli). ICF alone will produce 440 coaches. The railways have also decided to produce 1,030 sleeper coaches this year. Notably, during 2023-24, the railways proposed to produce 438 general class/second class coaches and 704 sleeper coaches.

Additionally, the number of general coaches for the Amrit Bharat Express, a premier trainset meant for non-AC passengers on long-distance routes, will increase from 440 to 605. A total of 55 Amrit Bharat rakes will be produced by these production units, each comprising a higher number of general class coaches. Currently, two rakes are operational on the Malda-SMVT Bengaluru and Darbhanga-Anand Vihar sections.

The demand for unreserved coaches has increased significantly due to the large migration of workers from northern and northeastern states to Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and Karnataka in recent years. Trains from these three southern states to destinations such as Shalimar (Howrah), Guwahati, Silchar, Patna, Bokaro, Lucknow, Muzaffarpur, and Dhanapur often run with overcrowded passengers, with sleeper class coaches occupied by unauthorised passengers throughout the journey.

Railway officials acknowledged the surge in demand among inter-state travellers during festivals and are taking steps to address it. “Special drives are being conducted to evict unauthorised travellers from reserved coaches,” said an official.

Meanwhile, the railways have decided to resume production of AC economy 3-tier coaches instead, which is proposed to be discontinued this year. Originally, 787 third AC coaches were planned for 2024-25. After revision, a total of 300 AC economy 3-tier and 460 regular AC 3-tier coaches will be produced, according to the official order.

Related Stories

No stories found.

X
The New Indian Express
www.newindianexpress.com