Modification of 32 coaches underway
Looking to Covid-19 a global pandemic, Indian Railways has come forward to contribute to its fullest capacity. As part of COVID-19 preparedness, Indian Railways has decided to modify 20,000 coaches into quarantine/ isolation coaches to augment the quarantine facilities being created in the country.
Vadodara is also in the process of modified 40 coaches to quarantine or isolation coaches. The Coaching depot, Pratapnagar is modifying railway coaches into quarantine /Isolation coaches for COVID-19 pandemic. The target for Isolation coaches will be 20 at Pratapnagar coching depot and 20 by Pratapnagar workshop. Eight coaches are kept ready by Vadodara to use as quarantine facility for the patients.
Around 20 people consists of Supervisor and staff engage in the modification of the coaches as instructions by the Western Railway. “We are using the coaches around 20 years old sleeper for modification and eight are already modified for use. The coaching depot and workshop are assigned to modified 20 coaches each to use as quarantine or isolation coaches for the patients,” said Khemraj Meena Pro Vadodara.
Talking about the salient features, each coach have -:
1) 08 separate coupes per coach by removing middle berths, facilities with bottle holder, 3 peg coat hook.
2) 01 bath room with all fittings.
3) Mosquito net on outer windows.
4) Plastic transparent curtains on both ends.
5) First coupe for medical staff and equipments, provision of chain securing arrangement for oxygen cylinders, separation by plastic transparent curtains.
6) 03 dust bins per coupe of Red, blue, yellow colours.
7) Mobile / laptop points in each coupe.
WR has decided to prepare 460 isolation coaches for COVID 19 patients quipped with all necessary facilities within a week as decided by Ministry of Railways to support our medical team. Out of these 460 coaches, 170 will be undertaken by Mumbai division, 40 by Vadodara, 75 by Ratlam, 70 by Ahmedabad, 20 by Rajkot & 80 by Bhavnagar division.
Both middle berths are removed in each cabin. Extra bottle holders shall be provided in each cabin for holding medical equipment, two for each berth. Extra 3 peg coat hooks, 2 per cabin to be provided. Mosquito net to be provided on windows to avoid mosquito entry inside and have proper ventilation too. Each cabin will be provided with 3 dustbins with foot operated lids of Red, Blue and Yellow Colour suitably lined with garbage bags.
One Indian style toilet will be converted into a bathing room. It will be equipped with bucket, mug and soap dispenser. Taps with lift type handle would be provided in washbasins.
Similar taps to be provided at proper height so that bucket can be filled. The first cabin near the bathing room shall be provided with two hospital/ plastic curtains transversely in the aisle so that the entry and exit to the entire eight berth cabins can be screened off. This cabin will be used as store/paramedics area.
Two Oxygen cylinders will also be provided by the Medical department for which suitable clamping arrangement on the side berth of this cabin is to be provided. For insulation of the coaches, Bamboo/Khus mats shall be affixed/ pasted on roof and each side of coach above and below windows to shield effect of heat inside coach. All charging points for laptop and mobile will be functional and all such amenity fittings whenever the coaches are requisitioned.
Some of the main features of coaches are as under.
● One lavatory is converted to bath room equipped with bathing facilities.
● Provision of water taps that can be operated by elbow.
● Provision of foot operated dust bins.
● Plastic curtains.
● Additional hanging arrangements for the use of medical equipments.
● Mosquito nets on windows.
● Store room for medicos.
● Holding arrangements of oxygen cylinders.
● Middle berths are removed from sleeper coaches to accommodate patients.