Colombo, March 10: The first lot of 10 coaches out of 160 stainless steel passenger coaches supplied by the Indian company RITES was handed over on Tuesday, the Indian High Commission said.
This is in pursuance of financial assistance offered by Government of India for the development of railway infrastructure in Sri Lanka through EXIM Bank of India. An agreement governing this was signed between RITES Ltd. and Sri Lanka Railways in September 2019.
These passenger coaches have been custom made and built as per the requirements of Sri Lanka Railways. They have been equipped with the latest technological features including stainless steel shell with polyurethane exterior painting and anti-graffiti coating and special anti-corrosive paint to guard against harsh coastal environmental conditions.
They also have aesthetically pleasing, superior interiors with glass partitions, soundproof rubber flooring, aluminum extruded luggage racks with glass bottom etc. LED lighting has been provided in all coaches. GPS based passenger information system, audio-visual infotainment system are also available in these coaches.
The state-of-the-art passenger coaches are being manufactured at the Integral Coach Factory, Chennai, a premier production unit of the Indian Railways. They resemble the 78 state-of-the-art Diesel Multiple Unit Train set coaches which are currently operational in Sri Lanka Railways. These coaches were supplied in 2018-19.
The first lot of 10 passenger coaches has been manufactured and supplied successfully, overcoming serious disruptions in the supply lines caused by frequent shutdowns and movement restrictions due to COVID-19. The remaining quantity will be delivered in the coming months.
Stainless steel coaches reduce impact of accidents
Rail coaches made of stainless steel instead of carbon steel can minimize the impact of train accidents, an industry body has said.
“If all the railway coaches in the country could be made of stainless steel instead of carbon steel, it can bring down the number of lives lost in train accidents significantly,” the Indian Stainless Steel Development Association (ISSDA) said referring to recent train accident in Muzaffarnagar district of Utta ..
Overall Development Assistance
India’s overall development assistance to Sri Lanka stands at close to USD 3.5 billion. Development of railway infrastructure in Sri Lanka is a focus area in development partnership between the two countries and several types of development work such as reconstruction of railway lines (268 Kms), installation of signal and telecommunication system (330 Kms), up gradation of coastal railway line (118 Kms) have already been completed. Various other projects are at various stages of implementation.