New Delhi: Chandigarh Shatabdi will be the first train to have "Anubhuti" coaches, the special AC luxury class proposed in this year's rail budget, providing higher travel comfort to passengers.
Railways will roll out 10 state-of-the-art AC coaches from Rae Bareli coach factory by October.
"We will be beginning the Anubhuti trial with Chandigarh Shatabdi to be followed with Jaipur Shatabdi. Later on, all Shatabdi trains will be equipped with one Anubhuti coach in a phase-wise manner," said a senior Railway Ministry official.
Anubhuti, the first of its kind modern LHB coach with ergonomically designed cushioned seats, LCD screens, modular toilets and world class interiors is estimated to cost about Rs 2.80 crore. Currently, it costs about Rs 2.5 crore for manufacturing a LHB coach.
He said similarly one Rajdhani train will be selected for introduction of Anubhuti coach to be followed by all other 23 Rajdhani services. Mail and express trains will also be equipped with Anubhuti coaches in a gradual manner.
While AC 1 Executive Class has 56 seats in Shatabdi, new design Anubhuti with automatic opening and closing of internal doors will have about 50 seats only.
Asked about the fare for travelling in Anubhuti class, he said "the fare will be more than the AC 1 Class in Shatabdi train" and added "the aim is to provide an excellent ambience and latest modern facilities and services with commensurate fare structure."
Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal, who had proposed the Anubhuti coach in his maiden Rail Budget, visited the Coach Care Centre at the New Delhi Railway Station to inspect the proto type of special coach recently.
Besides special coaches, Railways will also manufacture 4,500 HP diesel locomotive fitted with compact AC unit in loco pilots' cabin.
The first-ever locomotive fitted with AC in driver's cabin is estimated to cost Rs 12 crore and aims to provide relief to loco pilots on duty. Railways have proposed to create such improved cabins in all the locos in a phased manner.