New Delhi,9.10.2015 :: An international technical conference on “Rail Coach Interiors: Innovation, Safety, Comfort” was inaugurated here today at New Delhi by Minister of Railways Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu. The Conference has been organised by Institute of Rolling Stock Engineers” (IRSE) and “Indian Railways Service of Mechanical Engineers Association” (IRSMEA) with guidance and support from Indian Railways and Railway PSU RITES,. Delegates from China, Japan, Italy, Spain, Austria, England, Germany, France and Australia are among those attending the conference.
Speaking on the occasion, Minister for Railways Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu said that Indian Railway carries nearly 23 million passengers everyday in its fleeting nearly 60,000 coaches serving all sections of society and continue to be an uniting force of this vast nation. A passenger/ customer leads the longest time in a coach during his travel. His experiences in coach create the overall image/ impression of Indian Railways and coach interiors play the most important role in it. The expectations of passengers continue to grow for better services with economic growth of country. Moreover to keep pace with international developments, we must continuously upgrade our coach interiors.
Shri Suresh Prabhu said that the efforts have to be made by IR to make rail journey more comfortable and safe. The coaches and its system should be more passenger friendly to enhance the overall travel experience. Now the environment is a great concern hence the interior design of the coaches should be more energy efficient, light weight, eco-friendly and sustainable.
Shri Suresh Prabhu said that the design has to keep three factors in mind namely convenience, comfort and unique needs. The Railway Minister said that he has already given instructions to provide charging point in general coaches. Moreover, dustbins also to be made available in all coaches. He said that Railways have also embarked upon project of installing bio-toilet which has given good results. However, we may have to still continue to work for any other better solution which uses less water and is further cost effective. The coach designs should also take into account safety aspects and should be resistant to accidents.
The Minister pointed out that the idea is to tap the design expertise available outside railways in India or abroad to supplement the in-house capabilities available with RDSO or Production Units.
He said that on board experience which also include issues like cleanliness, food i.e. entire gamut of on board service need to be addressed in the most effective manner. He also said that the Railways has also undertaken the Mega scheme of redevelopment of all 400 modern railway station on PPP modal. It will really change the face of Indian Railway.
The Minister hoped that deliberations at the Conference will help in developing designs which will make the coaches aesthetically pleasing, convenient for use and provide more comfortable, hygienic and safe travel to our passengers. Capacity enhancement by optimum use of space in the coaches should also be focused.
Shri Suresh Prabhu expressed confidence that the experts, who are participating in the Conference, will find the right mix of appropriate technologies and innovative ideas which are suitable for Indian Railway coaches and its customers. He called upon the experts to do not only academic discussion but also prepare an implementable action plan so that it becomes the starting point.
The Railway Minister released a souvenir on this occasion.
Speaking on the occasion, Chairman Railway Board Shri A. K. Mital said that Indian Railway is truly a national carrier by its sheer size and volume of traffic. It carries nearly 23 million passengers everyday. We started with IRS coaches, then ICF coaches and now the LHB coaches to meet the rising expectations of passengers.Coach interiors are very important in projecting the image of Indian Railway as the passengers spend a long time in the coach while travelling. Hence, improving the interiors of coaches to provide greater comforts and safety to passengers is an important mission of Indian Railways. Passengers expect a neat and hygienic environment, good working fittings and amenities and their safety and security while travelling in train. Indian Railways has been trying to fulfill their expectations by time to time upgrading the designs of coaches.
Member Mechanical, Railway Board, Shri Hemant Kumar also spoke on the occasion.
The Conference is concentrating upon the efforts to be made by Indian Railway to make rail journey more comfortable and safe. The purpose of the conference is to make the coaches and its system more passenger friendly to enhance the overall travel experience of the passengers. Keeping the environmental concerns in mind, It has been decided that the interior design of the coaches must be more energy efficient, light weight, eco-friendly and sustainable. The coaches should be designed in a way that their cleaning becomes easy and no sharp, hidden corners for dirt, pests and cockroaches for example be there. Indian Railways is committed to extend benefits of latest technologies at affordable cost to its passengers.
Nearly 500 delegates from Railways & Industry and other organizations spread across nine countries are also participating in the Conference. The Conference, attended by experts world over, is expected to improve understanding of Railway engineers and administrators regarding latest trends and technologies and “Make-in-India” programme a success as well as help reach informed decisions. Rail industry in India will also get valuable exposure through this Conference.
Indian Railways have a total fleet of 62000 coaches (approx.) running in around 12600 trains and carries over 25 million passengers daily. To meet growing expectations of the passengers for comfort and safety, there is need to upgrade interiors of Indian Railway (IR) coaches for better comfort and safety through use of innovative materials and designs. Majority fleet on Indian Railway coaches is non-air-conditioned which poses different challenges in their interior designs. These coaches traverse the length and breadth of the country with varying climatic conditions. This requires adaptation of proven products and technologies under IR operating conditions. New ideas and concepts also need to be tried out.Research Designs and Standards Organisation (RDSO) is the R & D arm of Indian Railways located at Lucknow is responsible for R and D works in all railway related disciplines and leads the process of technology induction. Working directly under Ministry of Railways, it is also responsible for standardization of all railway systems on Indian Railways.RITES Ltd. is a Government of India Enterprise under the aegis of Indian Railways. An ISO 9001-2008 company, RITES is a multi-disciplinary consultancy organization in the field of transport, infrastructure and related technologies.