Soon, you will have to say goodbye to AC-2 tier coaches, as AC-3 tier coaches are replacing them.
But why the downgrade you ask?
AC-2 tier coaches are not commonly seen in all trains; they are most prevalent in Rajdhanis and Durontos which are known for their service, their speed and their priority in the Indian Rail Network.
AC-1 and AC-2 coaches are the same when it comes to accommodating passengers, with AC-1 coaches offering a door for added security and also a shower within the coach. Whereas AC-2 and AC-3 completely differ with the AC-3 offering three berths in a single compartment.
The reason for scrapping the AC-2 coaches is due to their unpopularity, both with the passengers and the railway officials.
Passengers seem to prefer the AC-3 coaches as they offer the same comforts as the AC-2 coaches but at a lower price. This is evident by the fact that AC-3 coaches are always in demand as compared to the AC-2 ones.
Additionally, AC-3 coaches bring in some significant profits for the Indian Railways as they attract about 85 million passengers annually, compared to around 55 million in all the other AC segments, including AC-1, AC-2 and AC chair cars.
Due to these reasons, the Railway Board has given instructions to manufacture more AC-3 coaches. As reported in NDTV, if such a replacement is done, for example, in the 50 Rajdhani trains, it will create around 14,400 additional berths for AC-3 passengers.
Another interesting thing to note is that Indian Railways will ensure a smoother ride on the Delhi Rajdhani and Shatabdi trains, beginning October. Speaking to the Financial Express, Ashwani Lohani, the Chairman of the Railway Board said that they are changing the couplers which connect coaches in trains.
The new system for couplers is the centre buffer coupler (CBC) which is equipped with balanced draft gear. These consist of high capacity shock absorbers which will be able to absorb jerks caused by the train.
(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)