Chennai: In an effort to increase the condition of coaches running in Mail/Express trains, the Railway Ministry had initiated ‘Project Utkrisht’ in October 2018.
The Ministry had decided to upgrade 66 pairs of trains comprising of 140 rakes, allocating Rs 60 lakh for each rake. Recently, Train (12693/12694) of Pearl city Express that runs between Chennai Egmore to Thoothukudi was upgraded as a part of the project.
According to a press release, Pearl City Express was the first rake to be upgraded in Madurai Railway division. The maiden trip ran on 26 January from Chennai Egmore and reached Tuticorin on Sunday, 27 January.
Previously, the Ministry kick started the project by upgrading Howrah-Kalka Mail of Eastern Railway. Speaking with News Today, a senior Southern Railway official said, “Project Utkrisht is likely to be completed by March. The aim is to improve passenger comfort and to upgrade the ICF designed coaches and bring them on par with LHB coaches.”
According to senior Southern Railway officials, the interiors of the Pearl City Express coaches will now include, LED lighting, new flooring and curtains, polished stainless steel wash basins, single information posters along with standard braille signage. The AC coaches have also received some upgrade such as double acting AC compartment swing doors and dustbins set up below the wash basins. In terms of safety, fire extinguishers have been added to all the reserved coaches.
Officials also noted that toilets have been improved by installing LED lights, epoxy flooring, Bio-toilets, dual flush valves for better flushing, stainless steel dust bins and soap dispensers for AC coaches. They added health faucets have been set up in toilets of all reserved coaches.
The exterior look of the coaches also sported a new look. The main body has the colour of Apricot with blood red finishing at both ends. According to a press release, railway engineers had used polyurethane paint for better corrosion and weather resistance.