Indian Railways entered into supply and technology transfer contracts with M/s. ALSTOM LHB/Germany to initially supply 24 coaches consisting of 19 AC chair cars, 2 AC Executive Class Chair cars, and 3 Generator cum Brake vans. The bogies for these coaches are manufactured by M/s. FIAT/SIG Switzerland.

These coaches arrived in India and got commissioned in the year 2001 and put in service. These types of coaches are far superior with respect to passenger comfort, safety, speed, corrosion, maintenance, and aesthetics. These coaches are also longer as compared to ICF design resulting in more carrying capacity. The expected benefits from these types of coaches are as under:

Higher carrying capacity – These coaches are about 2 meters longer than ICF coaches. With this extra length, two additional rows of chairs in chair cars or one additional bay in sleeper coaches can be accommodated.The weight of LHB coach is lesser as compared to ICF design coaches.

LHB coach can accommodate 72 passengers as compared to 64 in conventional AC III Tier Coach. Thus giving better pay to tare ratio.

Low corrosion – There will be low corrosion of LHB coaches due to extensive usage of Stainless Steel and better design and manufacturing techniques.

Low Maintenance – Replacement and removal of sub-systems will be required only after one million kilometers.

  • LHB Coaches have aesthetically superior interiors with FRP panels for side wall and roof. They can be removed easily for maintenance, resist water seepage and are wear resistant.
  • There are no visible screws inside the passenger compartment.
  • Better passenger comfort: Better Riding Index has been specified as compared to
    conventional ICF coaches.
LHB coach offers better passenger safety due to:
  • Use of fire retardant materials for furnishing.
  • Provision of emergency openable windows.
  • Vertically interlocked Centre Buffer Couplers.
  • LHB coach offers better passenger amenities due to:
  • More space for pantry
  • Individual reading light in chair car
  • Ergonomically designed chairs with reclining backrest