In order to provide a better travel experience to its commuters, the India Railways will soon be adding an aircraft-like luxury chair car — named “Anubhuti” — to the Mumbai-Ahmedabad Shatabdi Express. The Anubhuti coach, equipped with cushy interiors, seats fitted with LCD screens attached to every seat and wider leg space, has been built at an estimated cost of Rs 2.84 crore at the Integral Coach Factory in Chennai.
The Anubhuti (which means experience) coaches were announced in the Railway Budget of 2013 by the UPA government. The then railway minister Pawan Kumar Bansal had proposed induction of these coaches in his maiden Rail Budget, first into the Kalka-New Delhi Shatabdi, and then into the Jaipur-New Delhi Shatabdi. The coaches were, however, not installed into the Indian Railways owing to various reasons.
The coaches are fitted with automatic doors and the interiors and lighting arrangements have been aesthetically designed to enhance the ambience.
Other prominent features of the luxury coach include designer bio-toilets, diffused lighting, better ergonomics, passenger information display in the middle of the coach and Braille integrated seat stickers.
While the AC-1 executive class has 56 seats in Shatabdi, the new-design Anubhuti coaches with automatic opening and closing of internal doors will have about 50 seats. The fare for Anubhuti coaches will be higher than that of AC 1 executive class.
It is reported that so far, 10 such compartments have been built at the Integral Coach Factory, out of which Western and Central Railways will get two each, while the remaining six have been allotted to the Northern Railway. After Shatabdi trains, Rajdhani trains will also be fitted with such coaches.