Indian Railways has taken numerous steps and measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 virus infection. Sustaining the ruthless fight against COVID-19, Indian Railways’ production unit, Rail Coach Factory, Kapurthala, has developed a Post Covid Coach to fight Covid 19. This Post Covid Coach has design improvements in the coach like handsfree amenities, copper-coated handrails & latches, plasma air purification and titanium di-oxide coating for Covid free passenger journey.
Following are the salient features of the Post Covid Coach:
1. Handsfree amenities: Post Covid Coach is having handsfree amenities like foot operated water tap & soap dispenser, foot operated lavatory door (outside), foot operated flush valve, foot operated latches in lavatory door, outside washbasin with foot operated water tap and soap dispenser and forearm operated handle on compartment door.
2. Copper-coated handrails & latches: Post Covid Coach equipped with copper-coated handrails & latches because copper degrades the virus landed on it within few hours. Copper has anti microbial properties. When virus lands on copper, Ion blasts pathogen and destroy the DNA and RNA inside the virus.
3. Plasma air purification: Post Covid Coach is having provision of plasma air equipment in AC duct. This plasma air equipment will sterilize the air and surfaces inside the AC coach using ionised air to make the coach Covid-19 and particulate matter resistant. This provision will also improve the ion concentration from 100 ions/cm3 to more than 6000 ions/cm.
4. Titanium Di-oxide coating: Post Covid Coach is having Titanium Di-oxide coating in the coach. Nano structured Titanium Dioxide Coating functions as photoactive material. This is aeco-friendly water-based coating that kills viruses, bacteria, mould, and fungal growth and most importantly enhances indoor air quality. It is non-toxic and approved by food testing laboratory of the United States Food & Drug Administration (FDA), CE certified. TiO2 is considered to be a safe substance and is harmless to humans. This Titanium Di-oxide coating applied on washbasins, lavatory, seats & berths, snack table, glass window, floor, virtually every surface that comes in human contact. Effective life of this coating is 12 months.
Adapting to the post Covid world, the Indian Railways (IR) has developed two prototype coaches that will allow commuters to travel in a safe and hygienic environment, ensuring minimal contact with frequently-touched surfaces such as basins and toilets.
The two Linke Hofmann Busch (LBH) coaches were designed by the Rail Coach Factory (RCF) at Kapurthala to ensure commuters have “confidence” while traveling in trains. RCF officials said the changes started with the door handles of coaches as well as toilet doors, which have been coated with a form of copper that does not allow germs to thrive on the surface.
“We often got feedback from passengers that they were reluctant to touch the washbasin and toilet taps even during normal times but with Covid-19, it was further worrisome,” said a senior RCF official.
The RCF began developing these coaches as a top priority after a meeting with Railway Minister Piyush Goyal and senior officials from the Railway Board. The two coaches have been dispatched for Jaipur, the headquarters of North Western Railway, where it will see a trial over the next few days. The coaches are expected to be revised based on feedback after the pilot run.
“We have designed these coaches so that passengers can travel in a safe environment with confidence…” said Ravinder Gupta, RCF General Manager.