Indian Railways is set to transform the century-old Kalka-Shimla Railway with modern Vistadome coaches. The move aims to enhance the passenger experience and make the journey memorable and comfortable.
These new panoramic coaches have been manufactured at Punjab’s Kapurthala-based Rail Coach Factory (RCF). This is the first indigenously produced train coach, which is reminiscent of the red-coloured Swiss narrow-gauge carriages.
Presently, the coaches used in Kalka-Shimla historical rail route were made more than 100 years back by Moghalpura Workshop, which is now a part of Pakistan Railway.
When will these coaches be introduced?
These new advanced coaches will be put into service as soon as it receives clearance from the Commissioner of Railway Safety (CRS). The date and time of the launch will be decided by the Ministry of Railways.
The RCF has handed over four narrow gauge coaches for oscillation trials. These are: AC Executive Chair car (12 Seater), AC Chair Car (24 Seater), Non AC Chair Car (30 Seater), and Generator Car/Luggage van.
Features of new Vistadome coaches:-
The new coaches will have panoramic windows, a lightweight shell with an upgraded bogie and an improved braking system. The coaches will also be equipped with latest safety features such as CCTV cameras and fire alarms.
The coaches will have power windows in the upper class, heating-cooling packages, linear LED lights and concealed fans, windowpanes with anti-UV coating, modular seats, etc. There will be a mini pantry with luxury seats. The coaches will have glass roofs and large windows to enjoy the scenic beauty.
About Kalka-Shimla rail route:-
The Kalka-Shimla rail route is a part of Northern Railway’s Ambala Division. It was awarded a World Heritage Site by UNESCO on July 07, 2008. The rail route was built during British rule, to connect Shimla, the summer capital with the Indian rail system.