Linke Hoffman Busch (LHB) coaches
THE HANS INDIA |
Aug 28,2017 , 12:46 AM IST
Linke Hofmann Busch (LHB) coaches are the passenger compartments of Indian Railways that have been developed by Linke-Hofmann-Busch of Germany (renamed Alstom LHB GmbH in 1998 after the takeover by Alstom) and produced by Rail Coach Factory in Kapurthala, India.
They have been used since 2000 on the Indian Broad Gauge(1676 mm) network of Indian railways. Initially, 24 air conditioned coaches were imported from Germany for use in the Shatabdi Expresses, after which the Rail Coach Factory started manufacturing after technology transfer.
The coaches are designed for an operating speed up to 160 km/h and could go up to 200 km/h. However, they have been tested up to 180 km/h. Their length of 23.54 m and a width of 3.24 m means a higher passenger capacity, compared to conventional rakes (US: consists). The tare weight of the AC chair car was weighed as 39.5 tonnes.
They are considered to be "anti-telescopic", which means they do not get turned over or flip in case of a collision (chiefly head-on). These coaches are made of stainless steel and the interiors are made of aluminum, which makes them lighter as compared to conventional rakes.
Each coach also has an "advanced pneumatic disc brake system" for efficient braking at higher speeds, "modular interiors" that integrate lighting into ceiling and luggage racks with wider windows. The improved suspension system of LHB coaches ensures more riding comfort for the passengers compared to conventional rakes.
The air conditioning system of the LHB coaches is of higher capacity compared to the older rakes and is controlled by a microprocessor which is said to give passengers better comfort than the older coaches during summer and winter seasons. They are relatively quieter as each coach produces a maximum noise level of 60 decibels while conventional coaches can produce 100 decibels.
Each LHB coach costs between ₹ 15 million to 20 million, whereas the power car which houses a generator costs about 30 million. In 2016, after two accidents Railway minister Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu declared all ICF Bogies will be replaced by LHB coaches by the end of 2017 to provide more safety and comfort.