The question is no more as to when the things would get back to normal again, but the new version of the query is now, “How much the new version would change from the earlier normal version in terms of living and travel?”. Social distancing, use of personal protective equipment is now the new normal. Indian Railways is also modifying its travel coaches to define post-Covid travel. What’s changing and how these changes will ensure everyone’s safety? Let’s take a look:
- Inclusion of Hands-free amenities: In order to avoid direct touching of surfaces, hands-free amenities are being included such as the inclusion of foot-operated water tap and soap dispenser,foot-operated flush valve, foot-operated latches in lavatory door. There will be washbasins with a foot-operated water tap and soap dispenser option. For compartment doors, the travelers will get forearm operated handle feature.
- Copper Coated Handrails and Latches: Copper degrades the virus that lands on it within a few hours. Copper has anti-microbial properties. When the virus lands on copper, the ion blasts the pathogen and destroys the DNA and RNA inside the virus. Keeping this property on mind, Railways has designed the handrails and latches with copper coatings.
- Plasma Air Purification System: The newly developed coaches will have the provision of plasma air purification for complete surface sterilization. Plasma air equipment will sterilize the air and surfaces inside the AC coach using ionized 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”.
- Titanium Di-Oxide Coating: In order to avoid any form of microbial growth inside the compartment, a nano-material coating of titanium dioxide would be applied. Titanium Dioxide Coating functions as photo-active material. This water-based coating will kill viruses, bacteria, mould, and fungal growth. This coating will be applied on washbasins, lavatory, seats & berths, snack table, glass window, floor, virtually every surface that comes in human contact. This coating will be effective for 12 months.
More details of these Post-Covid-19 coaches designed can be found here from the official document released by Kapurthala rail coach factory who has designed these innovative coaches.
Suggested Reading: IRCTC to Define the New Normal In Terms of Train Travel Across India
The railways will also manufacture all new coaches with these technical specifications. “All future coach production will have these features. For existing coaches too we will try to retrofit wherever it is technically possible. The same was also done for bio-toilets which were retrofitted in existing coaches,” the official said.
Here’s Official Tweet from Honorable Railways Minister, Piyush Goyal:
Future Ready Railway: Designed to fight Coronavirus, Railways creates 1st ‘Post COVID Coach’ with:
▪️Copper-coated handrails & latches
▪️Plasma air purification
▪️Titanium di-oxide coating
For COVID-Free passenger journey!
— Piyush Goyal (@PiyushGoyal) July 14, 2020
Currently, Indian Railways, which used to cater to 23 million passengers aboard 14,000 passenger trains per day, is operating 15 pairs of premium Rajdhani trains connecting Delhi with different parts of the country, which began on May 12, and 100 pairs of long-distance trains, which began on June 1.
What do you think? Are all these initiatives fair enough to make you feel safer during travel in post covid-19 world? Share your views with RailRecipe in the comments below.