GUWAHATI: During the review meeting held at Maligaon on 29 December 2018 Railway Minister Piyush Goyal instructed that all trains having primary maintenance in N F Railway and having pantry car in their composition should immediately be converted into LHB model coaches by replacing existing ICF model as these are very long distance trains. He also instructed that allotment of coaches to N F Railway should be made on priority. He also emphasized that these should get converted to LHB in the next 3-4 months.
Presently in N F Railway, there are 22 long distance trains running with 43 non-LHB rakes, which have pantry car facility. The total requirement of LHB coaches for all these trains works out to 1087. Out of these, Board has already sanctioned conversion of 12505 / 06 (Northeast Express) to LHB comprising of 4 rakes. One more train has been identified for conversions to LHB which is train no. 15707/08 (Katihar - Amritsar Amrapali Express). This train is running with 5 rakes and will require an additional 120 coaches for conversion to LHB.
It may be mentioned here that N F Railway runs many long distance trains which include trains like Vivek Express, Silchar – Trivandrum Express, Tripura Sundari Express, Dibrugarh – Amritsar Express etc with ICF model coaches. Travel time of such long-distance varies from 50 hrs to 83 hrs. As the new model LHB coaches need no secondary maintenance at the destination station, the turnover time can be minimized leading to de-congestion of stations like Howrah, Anand Vihar etc which will help in improving the overall punctuality aspect.
It is to be mentioned here that LHB coaches have more safety features incorporated in them apart from being more passenger friendly with better amenities. The LHB coaches are fitted with superior suspension systems that give a much better ride quality. LHB coaches also have a maximum permissible speed upto 160 kmph as compared to the maximum speed of 110 kmph of a conventional ICF design coach. The LHB coaches are more maintenance friendly, requiring to be sent to maintenance workshops for periodic overhaul only once in 36 months, as compared to the overhauling periodicity of 18 months of a conventional ICF coach. The outer body of a LHB coach is made up of stainless steel; thereby incidences of corrosion are much less, a press release stated.