Indian Railways to use 50% of its 5,213 isolation coaches meant for COVID-19 positive patients to run Shramik Special trains! In an order dated 21 May 2020, the Railway Board permitted 60% of these modified train coaches to operate Indian Railways’ special trains to transport migrants. According to officials quoted in a PTI report, these non-AC coaches will not be reconverted into normal coaches. They will be used as “they are” for these services, they said. Railway Board Chairman V K Yadav said that so far, 5,000 such coaches have been converted and 80,000 beds are available. These converted train coaches can be deployed wherever the states desire. But as of now, since the converted coaches were not in use, it has been decided by the board to use 50% of them as Shramik Special coaches, he said.
According to the report, while making the modified isolation wards for COVID-19 patients, the compartment’s lower portion had been plugged by plywood and the middle berths had been removed. Also, a provision has been provided for partition from the aisle side for isolation of the compartment.