The new designs for an improved ladder are underway to provide better access to the upper berth of the Indian Railway train coaches.
The Railways had conducted an exercise a few months ago where they took feedback from a large number of passengers and one woe which outnumbered any other was the terrible ladder attached to climb up to the upper berth, which is nothing but two or three uncomfortable metal rods, and involves having to hurl yourself up, while grabbing in air to catch hold of something to haul yourself up. You cannot miss it even if you don’t travel by train all that often. People often complain about getting the upper berth and are continuously on the lookout for a youngster who would exchange the lower berth with them.
You may have missed the berth but not the woes around it, and it seems that this time, the railways has heard the woes too.
The Linke Hofman Busch (LHB) coaches are usually manufactured by engineers at the Rail Coach Factory, Kapurthala, and Integral Coach Factory, Chennai. Currently, you will find these engineers poring over designs and prototypes of numerous possible “ladders” to choose the one that will, hopefully, permanently ease the problem of climbing up to, or coming down from, the upper berth.
They have also roped in students of National Institute of Design , Ahmedabad, to make sure that the design will be aesthetically pleasing.
Till now, the ladder design for the coaches of AC First Class have been finalised and work is going on to come up with suitable designs for AC Second and Third classes.
The railways is also collecting feedback on the feel of the new steps in some of the the First AC Coaches that have been fitted with the prototype.