Indian Railways is planning to install aircraft-like pressurized railway coaches for the railway tracks in Leh during its impending expansion. Such coaches will be first introduced in the Bilaspur-Manali-Leh line along the India-China border, according to reports.
"The initiative of the Indian Railway has been prompted by the fact that this stretch of the world's highest rail track has witnessed cases of passengers having breathing difficulties on board," Avinash Mishra, a senior journalist covering railway-related developments told Sputnik.
The technology is similar to that adopted by aircraft to adjust the cabin pressure to near sea-level pressure, which makes breathing problem-free.
Once completed, the new rail line will connect important locations between Bilaspur and Leh like Sunder Nagar, Mandi, Manali, Kyelang, Koksar, Darcha, Upshi and Karu and other important towns of Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir. The project will include 74 tunnels, 124 major bridges, and 396 minor bridges, according to the first phase of the survey. The final location survey for the project is currently underway.
Chief Engineer (Construction), Northern Railway, DR Gupta was quoted by the Economic Times as explaining that in the Tibet region, two kinds of systems are used to maintain oxygen levels in train cabins. One is through the main controls which maintains standard oxygen levels and is switched on at high altitude areas and the other is through oxygen ports equipped for each passenger to use when they feel that they lack oxygen.
It is, however, not clear if these coaches will be manufactured in India or another country. The Chinese coaches are manufactured by Canada's Bombardier Inc.