Steel Express ready in safer avatar

Passengers of Steel Superfast Express will soon get to travel on the new state-of-the-art German-designed LHB (Linke Hofmann Busch) coaches, currently in use in high-profile trains such as Rajdhani and Duronto.

By Pinaki Majumdar in Jamshedpur
  • Published 5.05.18
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WAITING IN THE WINGS: The new Steel Superfast Express at Panskura in Kharagpur on Friday. Telegraph picture

Jamshedpur: Passengers of Steel Superfast Express will soon get to travel on the new state-of-the-art German-designed LHB (Linke Hofmann Busch) coaches, currently in use in high-profile trains such as Rajdhani and Duronto.

Officials at Garden Reach, the Calcutta-based headquarters of South Eastern Railway (SER), said the new rake comprising 22 LHB coaches manufactured at the Integral Coach Factory at Perambur, Chennai, arrived at the Panskura railway junction under the Kha-ragpur division on Thursday.

Chief public relations officer of SER Sanjay Ghosh said, "Necessary fittings and commissioning work in the coaches will be carried out soon before the new rake begins its journey between Tatanagar and Howrah."

In early February, the Railway Board had communicated its decision to replace the train's conventional coaches with swanky ones that are safer and more comfortable.

The new LHB coaches are robin blue in colour. "The train looks bright and attractive. Passengers will definitely like the new coaches and enjoy the ride," Ghosh said.

The LHB coaches include 15 ordinary chair cars, 3 AC chair cars, one executive AC chair car, a pantry car and two generator cars. The manufacturing cost of each coach stands at Rs 1.5 crore.

Made of stainless steel on the outside and aluminium on the inside, the LHB coaches are lighter than conventional ones and each one has an advanced braking system for increased safety at higher speed. The new coaches are "anti-telescopic", which means that they do not flip even if the train derails or has a collision. The new coaches have improved suspension system that will ensure more riding comfort. The air-conditioning is of higher capacity and is controlled by a microprocessor for optimum temperature control in both summer and winter.

"There will be no changes in the fare structure once the new rake is introduced," an official of the Railway Board said.

The passengers were happy.

"Our wish of travelling on the LHB coaches, which absorb shock and offer relief to elderly passengers, will soon get fulfilled. Thanks to the railways for replacing the old coaches with the refurbished ones. We look forward to a comfortable journey between the two destinations," said S.K. Ghosh, a businessman and a resident of Sakchi.

At present, Steel Superfast Express has 23 coaches ferrying over 3,500 passengers.

Its conventional rakes run on self-generating system, which means each coach generates its own power through a dynamo fitted under the coach and a battery that is used in case of an emergency or when the coach is not in motion.