Are you tired of travelling in sleeper class, but too wary to travel in AC class because of the cold and the cost? Indian Railways is planning just the thing for you: Economy AC class coaches where the temperature will be neither too hot nor to cold, and the ticket price will be lower than AC coaches!
An ever-growing number of Indians preferring to fly instead of taking the train — usually to save time, especially when AC tickets can cost as much as some flight tickets.
The new coaches may just bring back more customers such to the Railways who feel too uncomfortable travelling in sleeper class, but might not want to pay for flight tickets.
And then, with trains like Shatabdi and Rajdhani about to get makeovers, their fares may go up a little further.
Under those circumstances, the middle class will have more choice in travelling by train when these new Economy AC coaches are introduced.
"There will not be any chilling effect like in other AC classes and the temperature will be fixed around 24-25 degrees Celsius. The aim is to make the passengers comfortable and not make them feel the outside heat," a senior Railway Ministry official was quoted as saying by PTI.
Now this is expected to be helpful in two ways. For starters, passengers will not be able to feel the cold that usually pervades AC-1, AC-2 and AC-3 coaches, even as they are shielded from the heat outside. And therefore, they will also not need blankets.
On the other hand, winters will become more bearable, because the temperature is at an optimum level. This will make train travel more palatable in winter.
The Economy AC coaches are still in the planning phase, and their details "are to be worked out before deciding for manufacturing such coaches," the official said.