Railway Minister Piyush Goyal said that railways is planning to standardised trains in terms of number of coaches so that all the trains can run on all routes irrespective of the time taken by each train to complete the journey.
He also added, “All trains will have 22 coaches, the length of the platforms will be increased, and other related changes will be carried out. The engineering department is looking into it.”
There are 2 kinds of coaches currently- ICF and LHB. And depending upon the demand, the number of coaches in a train could be 12, 16, 18, 22 or 26. This makes it difficult for the railways, particularly in case of a delay to substitute one with the other.
A senior railway official explained, “If the number of coaches is the same in every train, we can press any train – which is ready, has arrived at the station and undergone maintenance – into operation, instead of waiting for the same train to get ready.”
He also added that the railways had identified more than 300 groups of trains and their routes in the first phase. The changes in the number of trains operating on a route with their timings will reflect in the new timetable which will be published in July.
The official said, “In the first phase, we have segregated over 300 groups of trains and identified routes on which they can be run mostly mainline, busy routes.”
He added that to implement this plan successfully, the railways would also have to standardise its infrastructure which includes the length of the platforms, filling and washing lines, etc.