Indian Railways has decided to introduce a new mechanism in the air-conditioned coaches. Railways will now have operation theatre-like fresh air pumped into its AC coaches. This will replace the previously used circulated-air system, which is believed to increase the chances of coronavirus spread. The experiment had initially started with 15 pairs of trains on the Rajdhani routes. Now, railways is planning to incorporate the system for operating all AC trains post COVID-19. Read on to know the details.
Railways To Have Operation Theatre-Like Fresh Air Pumped Into Its AC Coaches
Earlier, the railway authorities used to change air in AC trains about six to eight times per hour. Around 80 percent of the air that was pushed into the coaches used to be recirculated air. The rest of the 20 percent was fresh air. The hospital-like mechanism will replace air more than 16 to 18 times in an hour, the way it happens in the operation theatres. This will ensure the flow of uncontaminated air inside the coaches. However, this new mechanism will increase energy consumption inside trains by 10 to 15 percent. As per reports, AC working on recirculated air gets cooler faster. When fresh air is used, it takes more time in cool. This, in turn, results in additional energy consumption. But Indian Railways is ready to pay the price, considering the safety of the travellers.
The authorities have also increased the centralized AC temperatures from 23 degrees to 25 degrees. Also, a few days back, railways had deployed 960 COVID care coaches in 5 Indian states.
Non-AC Coaches Turned Into Isolation Centres
Adhering to the advice of the health experts, railway officials have also turned the non-AC coaches into isolation centres for the treatment of mild coronavirus cases. To modify the AC units, they have applied the guidelines of the Ministry of Health. The railway authorities had also built up ‘contactless cubicles’ for doctors to treat coronavirus cases.
There haven’t been any reports on the spread of coronavirus through air-conditioning in India till date. However, one report by Emerging Infectious Diseases had stated that nine people in Wuhan, China got the infection just by sitting in front of the AC in a restaurant.
Also Read: Aarogya Setu App A Must To Travel By Train
After the pandemic, the ways of travelling in public transport have changed drastically. While travelling in a post-COVID environment, we will need to wear masks, use sanitizers at frequent intervals, avoid touching surfaces and maintain adequate distance from co-passengers. Transportation systems all across the world have issued guidelines to ensure the utmost safety of the passengers. For example, Delhi Metro will allow only 50 passengers to travel in one coach. On that note, get nostalgic with this amazing ‘Agla Station Podcast’ of the bustling Kurla station in Mumbai.