Officials from Indian Railways have decided to remove curtains from pathways of all AC three-tier coaches. It has been said that curtains from windows will remain unchanged. The decision to remove curtains was made due to safety reasons, following a fire incident in Bangalore – Nanded Express Train in 2013, which killed 26 people, including two children.
One of the senior Railway Ministry officials said, “Railway Board had on March 12 decided to remove all curtains put on pathways of 3 AC coaches. All zonal railways have been instructed to remove them”. The official went on to explain that the zonal railways will remove the curtains when a train is subjected to general maintenance works.
Even though the curtains are made out of fire-resistant material, Indian Railways has decided to remove them, as it was recommended by Commissioner of Railways Safety. In 2013, a major fire set ablaze a third AC coach of the Bangalore-Nanded Express train and the incident claimed lives of 26 people in Anantpur district of Andhra Pradesh. The railways has called for a two-day international conference which will be held from April 24, 2014 until April 25, 2014 on fire safety technologies in order to improve fire safety mechanism. The conference will be attended by participants from France, Germany, Italy, US and the UK.
The railways had decided to put the curtains in AC coaches in 2009 in order to give more privacy to its passengers.
Photo Credits: Paul BigLand