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RCF aims to roll out first prototype of Vande Metro coach by April, says its general manager

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Kapurthala (Punjab), Feb 11 (PTI) The Rail Coach Factory (RCF) in Kapurthala in Punjab is aiming to roll out the first prototype of Vande Metro coach for intercity travel ”by April this year, its general manager S Srinivas has said.

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A total of 16 such coaches are expected to be ready by the later part of 2024-25 financial year, he said.

Vande Metro, which is designed on the concept of India's first indigenous semi-high-speed train Vande Bharat, will cater to intercity passengers covering up to a distance of 250 km.

A Vande Metro train will have 16 air-conditioned coaches and can run at a maximum speed of 130 km per hour.

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"This train is meant for intercity traffic," Srinivas told PTI, adding, "We are aiming that the first prototype is ready by April." Following trials, the RCF will start its production.

Vande Metro trains will enhance passenger experience and accessibility, he said, adding each coach will have the capacity to carry 280 passengers -- 100 seating capacity and 180 standing capacity.

The 3x3 bench-type seating arrangement maximises passenger capacity, providing a comfortable medium-distance commute, he said.

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Vande Metro coaches will be equipped with a passenger talkback system to communicate with the train driver in case of an emergency.

Each coach will be equipped with 14 sensors for fire and smoke detection.

There will be a wheelchair-accessible lavatory in coaches, he said.

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The train will be equipped with the Kavach system, which is a pivotal measure to prevent collisions, he said.

The gangway, which joins two coaches, will be wide like corridors to provide a smooth walk-through in the train, Srinivas said.

Windows and doors are designed for both safety and convenience with wider openable hopper-type windows for emergency situations and spacious entrances featuring wider doors.

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For passenger comfort, automatic plug doors at the entrance and touch-free doors in the compartment area will be provided, he said.

Srinivas also said the RCF rolled out 24 special Rajdhani sleeper coaches in December last year for running a long-distance train on the Udhampur-Srinagar-“Baramulla section.

RCF engineers added a special feature in these coaches to provide hot water in lavatories during winter months, he said.

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He said the next rake of 24 coaches will be rolled out in March this year and two more rakes will be ready in the next financial year.

On Vistadome coaches for the heritage Kalka-Shimla route, the general manager said trials had been successfully completed and these coaches would run soon on this narrow gauge section after clearance from the commissioner of railway safety.

The RCF will manufacture 30 more Vistadome coaches in the next financial year after safety clearance.

Highlighting the achievements of RCF, Srinivas said one double-decker cargo liner coach, which can carry 46 passengers and six tonne of load, is currently on trial on the Ambala-Sahnewal section.

RCF is a coach manufacturing unit of Indian Railways. It has built over 43,000 coaches since its inception in 1988. PTI COR CHS VSD SMN

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