Indian Railways has numerous passenger trains that run across the country, connecting many cities and towns. These trains are equipped with many facilities that make sure that passengers can travel comfortably and safely. But what remains to be the most important aspect of these trains are the coaches. Coaches need to be safe, sturdy, and well equipped for all trains. The LHB coach is one such that the Indian Railways uses for several of its trains. Read on to find out more about these coaches.
What is a LHB Coach?
The Linke Hofmann Busch coach, more commonly known as the LHB coach, is a train coach for passenger trains. It gets its name from its German manufacturers Linke-Hofmann-Busch, who are now called Alstom Transport Deutschland. Indian Railways first used these coaches in 2000 and since then, they are produced by the Rail Coach Factory in the city of Kapurthala, Punjab. However, before they were produced in India, the LHB coaches were imported from Germany. The Indian Railways imported 24 air-conditioned LHB coaches from Germany. These were used in most of the Shatabdi Express trains.
The LHB coaches are used on the 5 ft 6 in broad gauge and 3 ft 6 in narrow gauge rail networks across India. The operating speed of these coaches is 160 km/h, but it can increase to 200 km/h if necessary. Now, this is the speed that the coaches have been designed for. However, no LHB coach has actually been driven at that high a speed. The highest speed has been 180 km/h till now.
Types of LHB Coaches
There are several types of LHB coaches that are used by the Indian Railways. There are about 15 different types of LHB coaches that are currently being used. These coaches fit different classes like 1A, 2A, 3A, executive class, sleeper, and chair car. Depending on the class and the type of LHB, the seating capacities vary. You will find some LHB coaches that have only 24 seats available, while some can accommodate upto 102 passengers. These LHB coaches are regular coaches and you will find them on several trains that run on various cross-country routes.
There are some LHB coaches that are luxury coaches. These are known as Anubhuti coaches. The Anubhuti (EA) coach is a luxury coach and was first used by the Western Railway in December, 2017. The Mumbai Central–Ahmedabad Shatabdi Express was the first to get this luxury LHB coach. This coach has a seating capacity of 56, and the seats are plush, comfortable, and boast an ergonomic design. With automatic doors, and beautiful interior design and lighting, the Anubhuti LHB coaches are a dream to travel in.
How Do LHB Coaches Ensure Safety?
You may wonder why the Indian Railways decided to bring in the LHB coaches and how they are superior to the existing coaches. The Anubhuti coaches have state-of-the-art facilities and design, but they are available for select trains. So what makes the regular LHB coach better than the rest? It is the safety that they offer. Following are some points which will help you understand this more.
- The LHB coaches are anti-telescopic. This means that a coach will not flip or turn over even if there is a head-on collision on the tracks.
- LHB coaches are safe and comfortable for all passengers because these come with a much improved suspension system. People with hip problems or joint pain can travel comfortably without worrying about any increase in pain during the journey.
- Every LHB coach has an “advanced pneumatic disc brake system”. Therefore, it is possible to hit the brakes efficiently, even when the train is running at a high speed.
- LHB coaches modular interiors. This means the lighting is integrated into the luggage racks and the ceiling. While this gives an aesthetic look to the coach, it also ensures proper visibility at all times.
- The LHB coaches are safe for those who cannot travel in extreme temperatures when the coaches are air-conditioned. The air-conditioning in these coaches are regulated by a microprocessor and function at a higher capacity. So in both summer and winter, you will be comfortable and this also ensures that the interiors are more hygienic.
LHB coaches have a number of advantages and travelling in them can make your journey even more pleasant. These coaches are used in the South-Eastern Railways. You will also find several Western Railways Shatabdi Express trains with LHB coaches. These usually connect Mumbai, Pune, Ahmedabad and other such major cities. You can book trains with LHB coaches using your IRCTC login credentials. To book trains with ease and get instant confirmation, you can opt for redRail. You can search for trains with LHB coaches on specific routes and book e-tickets through redRail. The process is easy and simple.
Travelling in an LHB coach is quite the experience. Check for Shatabdi Express trains on your preferred route as these trains usually have such coaches. Book train tickets from redRail and enjoy the ride.