Gorkhatimes

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Corridor connect for toy train coaches

Posted by Ramesh Khati on August 13, 2009

A new vestibule coach brought for the DHR.

A new vestibule coach brought for the DHR.

Siliguri, Aug. 12: The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR) has received four vestibule coaches from Pune and they have successfully manoeuvred sharp turns in the hills in trial runs.

This is the first time that the DHR is using such coaches, which are interconnected by 2.5feet long corridors, making it possible for passengers to walk in the toy train from one end to the other.

The existing coaches of the heritage railway do not have opening space to pass through and the travellers have to jump off the train to enter another compartment.

“We are replacing 20 old coaches of the hill railway with new ones and 10 of them have vestibules. They are inter-connected and passengers can move from the front to the back on the train. Four such second class coaches have already arrived and six first class coaches are due to come from the Kurdavari Railway Coach Factory in Pune,” said Subrata Nath, the director of the DHR.

Putting to rest the apprehension that vestibule coaches would not be able to traverse the sharp turns and curvatures encountered in the ascent from the lowlands of Siliguri to hilly terrain of Darjeeling, the four bogies made a successful trial run on Monday.

“As we are using such coaches for the first time, we conducted a trial run on a 25km stretch comprising both plains and hills from Siliguri to Rongtong. The ride was successful but we will conduct another run when the six other coaches arrive. We are confident that the coaches will cover the 80km journey from Siliguri to Darjeeling without any hassles,” said Nath.

Another attraction of the new coaches will be ceiling glasses that will enable the passengers to see the hilly forests above.

“Each coach has 23 seats and there is a glass ceiling for the travellers to have an overhead view. We will use the coaches for daily rides rather than charter journeys. There will not be any change in the fare per seat,” he said.

In addition to this, all the vestibule coaches will have airbrakes.

“The new coaches have cost Rs 20 lakh each. All the vestibule coaches are fitted with airbrakes. As of now, only a few old coaches of the DHR have airbrakes. We are planning to run the coaches from the coming month,” Nath added.

Source: The Telegraph

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