The AC coaches in Indian trains are now expected to have operation-theatre like fresh air strategy adoption. The decision comes in the wake of the current prevalence of coronavirus and looks at replacing the circulated air in the coaches to prevent any possible spread of the infection.
The Indian Railways has already started experimenting with the decision with 15 pairs of air-conditioned trains running on Rajdhani Routes since May 12. Now, the process shall be adopted in all AC trains as a part of prevention & passenger safety measures adopted by Indian Railways post-COVID-19.
“The Roof Mounted AC Package Unit (RMPU) system of Indian Railways AC coaches replaces air more than 16-18 times per hour just like in OTs,” officials said.
Previously, the air change in AC trains was 6-8 times per hour with 80 percent of the air being recirculated air & rest 20 percent being fresh air. However, the number has now increased as well as the energy consumption has increased by 10-15 percent.
“This is the price one has to pay for the safety of passengers. This is the new normal. The way an AC works is that it uses recirculated air so that it gets cooler faster. When we use fresh air it takes more time to cool, so there’s additional energy consumption,” an officer said.
In another measure, the Indian Railways has decided to increase the temperature of AC coaches to 25 degrees from the previous mark of 23 degrees as the passengers are not being provided with any linen for the travel.