New Delhi: To minimise casualties after
derailments, the Railways are contemplating switching over
from indigenous ICF coaches to German technology based LHB
coaches in all mail and express trains as a safety measure.
LHB (Linke Holfmann Bush) coaches made of stainless
steel have more inbuilt safety features as they can absorb
shock and impact of derailment more effectively and as a
result do not topple, thus reducing the loss of lives in case
of accident, said a senior Rail Ministry official.
LHB coaches manufactured in the Rail Coach Factory in
Kapurthala are mostly used in Rajdhani and Shatabdi trains
while other mail and express trains are equipped with
conventional coaches built in the Integral Coach Factory
(ICF) at Chennai. ICF coaches are made of normal steel.
"Recently Guwahati Rajdhani and Bhubaneswar Rajdhani
trains got derailed but not a single injury was reported let
alone any casualty," said the official.
"But in case of Jnaneshwari Express", added the
official, "ICF coaches were toppled on to the adjacent track
which led to a collision with a moving goods train, resulting
in heavy casualties.
"Had it been LHB coaches, these might not have toppled
in such a severe way," said the official.
While an ICF AC coach approximately costs Rs 1.5 cr,
a LHB AC coach costs about Rs 3 cr.
With about 50 new trains introduced every year, there
is a demand of 2,500 coaches annually.
Kapurthala Rail Coach Factory, which produces about 300
LHB coaches a year, has been given the target of 500 coaches
"Our aim is to run all mail and express trains with LHB
coaches as a safety measure which cannot turn turtle in the
event of any derailment or collision," said the official
adding "the conventional coaches have to be replaced in