Mumbai: First COVID-19-ready coaches appear on train to Manmad

Updated: 16 September, 2020 07:17 IST | Rajendra B Aklekar | Mumbai

Railways introduce foot-operated taps in three coaches, to follow this up with other advanced features in trains across India

Railways will also install foot-operated flush valves
Railways will also install foot-operated flush valves

Modified COVID-19 trains have entered service, with the first one running between CSMT and Manmad. Modifications done by railway engineers have reduced the need to touch amenities by hand to help passengers feel more confident about travelling.

A senior official said that the modifications were carried out at the Manmad Workshop. "As a special measure, in these trying times and for the safety of passengers, Manmad depot has re-engineered amenities and provided foot-operated taps that would prevent commuters from touching the taps. Efforts are being taken to also provide foot-operated flush valves in the washroom. As of now, this has been done in three coaches. Based on passenger feedback, changes would be made to other coaches."

Central Railway's Chief PublicRelations officer Shivaji Sutar said, "Mumbai-Manmad special train started operations from September 12 and it is the first intra-state train to connect two cities, that is Manmad and Mumbai, after the lockdown."

While this particular train has limited features, more trains are being developed across Indian Railways with advanced anti-COVID-19 design improvements like copper-coated handrails and latches, plasma air purification and titanium dioxide coating for COVID-free passenger journey.

Copper to fight virus

A senior official said that it has been found that copper degrades the virus landing on it within a few hours as it has antimicrobial properties. "When the virus lands on copper, its ions blast the pathogens and destroy the DNA and RNA inside the virus. This led us to install copper-coated handrails and latches in a few other coaches," the official said.

In addition to this, a few other AC coaches now have provisions of plasma air equipment in the AC duct to sterilise the air and surfaces inside the coach, using ionised air to make the coach COVID-19 and particulate matter resistant.

Also Read: COVID-19: Railways to run 20 pairs of 'clone trains' from September 21

Other features include titanium dioxide coating on washbasins, lavatory, seats and berths, snack tables, glass windows, floor, and virtually every surface that comes in human contact, with the life of this coating being 12 months.

This functions as photoactive material, is an eco-friendly water-based coating that kills viruses, bacteria, mould, and fungal growth and most importantly, enhances indoor air quality. It is non-toxic and approved by the food testing laboratory of the United States Food & Drug Administration (FDA), CE certified and is considered a safe substance, harmless to humans.

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First Published: 16 September, 2020 07:09 IST

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