Stepping up efforts to fight the infection, Railways has come up with new type coaches with handsfree amenities, copper-coated handrails and latches and plasma air purification among others for Covid free passenger journey.
Besides, an indigenised ventilator is also in the making to supplement the government’s healthcare facilities in the times of COVID-19 pandemic.
Preparing itself for post corona travel, Rail Coach Factory (RCF) at Kapurthala has designed two coaches – one AC and another non-AC – with many added features to stave off infection.
These two coaches are being sent to Jaipur for trial and likely to be part of one of the mail/express trains, said RCF General Manager Ravindra Gupta.
The newly designed coaches are equipped with foot-operated soap dispensers and toilet flushes to door handles manoeuvred with the forearm and handrails coated with antimicrobial copper to make the journey safer.
Retrofitting of more coaches with the anti-infection features would be carried out after the trial, Gupta said.
According to Railways, these added features in coaches would make rail passenger business more robust by boosting passenger confidence in travelling by trains.
The cost of retrofitting of the coaches with newly added features is about Rs 6 to 7 lakhs per coach, said Gupta.
These amenities include foot-operated water tap and soap dispenser, foot-operated lavatory door (outside), foot-operated latches in lavatory door, foot-operated flush valve, outside wash basin with foot-operated water tap as well as soap dispenser, forearm operated handle on the compartment door.
Copper coated Handrails and Latches.
According to Indian Railways, copper degrades the virus on the surface within a few hours’ time as copper has antimicrobial properties. If there is a virus on copper, Ion blasts pathogens and destroys the DNA as well as RNA inside the virus.
Plasma Air Purifier
There is a provision of Plasma Air Equipment in the AC duct. Inside the AC coach, sterilization of air and surfaces will be done using ionised air to make the coach COVID-19 and particulate matter resistant. There is also an improvement in ion concentration from 100 ions/cm3 to more than 6000 ions/cm3.
Titanium Di-oxide Coating
Coating done by Titanium Dioxide that is nanostructured, functions as photoactive material. The water-based coating is eco-friendly that kills viruses, bacteria, mold, as well as fungal growth. Most importantly, it enhances indoor air quality. It is non-toxic and it has been approved by the food testing laboratory of the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), CE certified.
Considered to be a safe substance, Titanium Di-oxide is harmless to humans. This coating is applied on washbasins, seats and berths, lavatory, glass window, snack table, floor and virtually every surface that comes in contact. The effective life of Titanium Di-oxide coating is 12 months.
RCF, the production unit of the national transporter, is also in the final stage of manufacturing a ventilator, crucial for critical corona patients.
Meanwhile, RCF has also claimed to observe all COVID-19 safety measures such as regular disinfection of workplace, thermal screening at factory entrance, personal hygiene of employees at the workplace, social distancing, public awareness announcements on COVID-19 safety, display of awareness posters for wearing face mask, safety check of all entries at campus entrance gate.