Chennai: The Chennai-Coimbatore Shatabdi Express will sport a new look from November. Brand new LHB (Linke Hoffman Busch) coaches will be used for the entire high-speed train.
Senior Southern Railway sources told DC that a brand new rake comprising eight to 10 LHB coaches would be used from November 1.
The LHB coaches, originally designed by Germany in 1955, will offer more comfort and suit high-speed, unlike the 1955 model conventional coaches.
The existing rake sent from northern railway is over 22-year-old. Started as Duronto Express, the train was converted to Shatabdi in November 2013 owing to poor patronage.
The rake replacement was long due considering that SR has been contemplating refurbishment/replacement of the train’s coaches for a while owing to complaints aplenty from passengers who were unhappy with railways not offering the comfort they pay for.
SR even roped in a leading bus operator and overhauled the interiors, particularly the seats at a cost of around `3 lakh even while contemplating replacement of the entire rake.
“Finally, it was agreed to replace all old coaches with brand new LHB coaches. Necessary papers have been cleared. An order to this effect will be issued in a few days,” a senior SR officer in the know of things added.
Unlike the existing rake, which has a dozen coaches, the new rake will only have 10 LHB coaches maximum. The change will not affect the train’s carrying capacity as the LHB coaches are relatively large and roughly 9LHB coaches will match the carrying capacity of 12 conventional coaches, the officer reasoned addin that the change will be visible and passengers will feel less exhaustion after the journey.
The replacement will also help SR operations a great deal given that the intermediate overhauling (IoH) period of LHB is one and half years, against the nine months of conventional coaches....