With a view to modernise the old get-up of the passenger and express trains, the Indian Railways is set to introduce rail coaches with glass ceiling and infotainment systems, the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) said on Monday.
The new train coaches with glass top ceiling have been jointly designed by IRCTC, the Research Designs and Standards Organisation (RDSO), and Integral Coach Factory (ICF) at Perambur (Chennai), and will be introduced in selected trains from December this year.
"Three such coaches will roll out from ICF in December this year. The first coach will be tagged in a regular train in the Kashmir Valley while the other two will be part of some train careening through the picturesque Araku Valley (KK Line, Waltair station) on the South-Eastern Railway," said IRCTC Chairman and Managing Director A.K. Manocha.
He also said that the trains having such luxurious coaches giving an aerial view would be decided later.
According to IRCTC, these coaches, the first of their kind in India, are being manufactured at the ICF and each has a manufacturing cost of around Rs four crore.
"The basic objective behind such a project is to promote tourism and woo upscale tourists from both India and abroad," Manocha said.
"There are some trains with glass ceiling in foreign countries, like Switzerland, which enjoy the patronage of tourists. We believe such coaches would also give a fillip to rail tourism in India," he added.
Giving details of the project, IRCTC's Group General Manager (Infrastructure) Dham Ghaj Prasad said the coaches with glass top ceiling would be the first of its type in India and would rival the best anywhere in the world.
He also said that the work on the project started in 2015. "The first such coach is all set to roll out this month (October) itself. The coaches will be ultra luxurious with rotatable chairs to provide the passengers an aerial view through partly glass ceiling," Prasad said.
"Further, the coaches will have ample leg space and also equipped with modern infotainment system for the benefit of tourists," he added.