LHB coaches

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Linke Hofmann Busch (LHB) coaches
LHB Coaches.jpg
Red and Blue livery LHB coaches
Built at1. Rail Coach Factory, Kapurthala
2. Integral Coach Factory, Chennai
3. Modern Coach Factory, Raebareli
Capacitymax 250
Operator(s)Indian Railways
Bangladesh Railway
Mozambique Ports and Railways
Car body constructionspotwelded stainless steel
Car length23.54 m (body)
24 m (coupler-coupler)
Width3.24 m
Height4.039 m
Floor height1.32 m
Platform height500 mm - 800 mm
Doors4 manual
Wheel diameter855 mm - 915 mm
Wheelbase2.56 m
Maximum speed200km/h (125mph)
Weight39.5 tons
Axle load16 tons
HVAC84,000 BTU
AAR wheel arrangement2'2'
Bogies2x Fiat bogies
Braking system(s)Air
Coupling systemH type CBC
Track gaugeBroad gauge (1,676 mm)
Seating24 - 102
80 (avg)
LHB Coach of New Delhi Dehradun Shatabdi
The interior of LHB executive class or 1A coach of New Delhi Dehradun Shatabdi Express.
LHB AC 3 tier coach of Golden Temple Mail
Generator car of Bangalore Rajdhani Express at Secunderabad junction
Banglabandha Express train of Bangladesh Railway running with LHB rake

Linke Hofmann Busch (LHB) coaches are the passenger coaches of Indian Railways that were developed by Linke-Hofmann-Busch of Germany[1] (renamed Alstom LHB GmbH in 1998 after the takeover by Alstom and now known as Alstom Transport Deutschland)[2] and mostly produced by Rail Coach Factory in Kapurthala, India.[3] They have been used since 2000 on the 5 ft 6 in (1,676 mm) broad gauge (1676 mm[4]) network of Indian railways. Initially, 24 air conditioned coaches were imported from Germany for use in the Shatabdi Expresses, after which the Rail Coach Factory started manufacturing after technology transfer.[5]

The coaches are designed for an operating speed up to 160 km/h and could go up to 200 km/h.[6] However, they have been tested up to 180 km/h. Their length of 23.54 m and a width of 3.24 m means a higher passenger capacity, compared to conventional rakes.[7] The tare weight of the AC chair car was weighed as 39.5 tonnes.[8] They are considered to be "anti-telescopic", which means they do not get turned over or flip in case of a collision (chiefly head-on). These coaches are made of stainless steel and the interiors are made of aluminium which make them lighter as compared to conventional rakes.[9] Each coach also has an "advanced pneumatic disc brake system" for efficient braking at higher speeds, "modular interiors" that integrate lighting into ceiling and luggage racks with wider windows.[10] The improved suspension system of LHB coaches ensures more riding comfort for the passengers compared to conventional rakes. The air conditioning system of the LHB coaches is of higher capacity compared to the older rakes and is controlled by a microprocessor which is said to give passengers better comfort than the older coaches during summer and winter seasons. They are relatively quieter as each coach produces a maximum noise level of 60 decibels while conventional coaches can produce 100 decibels.

Each LHB coach costs between  1.5 Crore to ₹2.0 crore  , whereas the power car which houses a generator costs about 3 crore .[6][11] IR declared that all ICF coaches will be replaced by LHB coaches to provide more safety and comfort. The ICF Coach was flagged off making way for the LHB Coaches to be used for most of the new coaches introduced in Indian Railways.[12]


During 1993–94, Indian Railways decided to look for a passenger coach design which would be lighter and capable of higher speeds compared to their existing rakes. The main features of the Railways' specification were high speed light weight coaches to run on the present infrastructure of the Indian Railways, i.e. the railway, track and environmental conditions in India at an operating speed of 160 km/h.[4][9] It was decided by the Railways that the design would first be tried in the Rail Coach Factory in Kapurthala (RCF), and upon successful completion of this trial, it would be tried in the Integral Coach Factory in Perambur.[5]

In 1995, after a global selection process, Alstom-LHB received the order from Indian Railways to design and develop a new passenger coach under a transfer of technology agreement.[9] As part of the order, Alstom-LHB had to execute two contracts, one for the supply of "Light Weight High Speed Coaches for Broad Gauge"[4] which includes the development, design and manufacture of 19 AC 2nd Class Chair Cars, 2 AC Executive Class Chair Cars and 3 Generator-cum-Brake vans[13] and the other contract for the "Technology Transfer" which includes the transfer of technology for design and manufacturing, the training of Indian Railways personnel in the premises of the manufacturer and the technical assistance at RCF during the start of production.[5]

Out of the 24 coaches imported from Germany, all of them mostly being Air Conditioned chair cars,[14] the first lot were used for New Delhi-Lucknow Shatabdi Express on a trial basis. It didn't turn out be successful as the coaches' wide windows were targets of mischief and stone-pelting. Railways had to use sealing tapes to tape up the bruised windows.[9] When these rakes were brought into service, couplers came unstuck and the data collected from the passenger feedback showed that the air conditioning was not "very effective". They were withdrawn from service and after attending to the problems, Railways reintroduced them on the New Delhi-Lucknow Shatabdi Express and proved successful.[9][15]

The RCF began to manufacture other variants of LHB design like the air conditioned first class, AC 2 tier sleeper, AC 3 tier sleeper, hot buffet (pantry) car etc., from 2001 to 2002, and rolled out its first rake in December 2002. The first such rake was introduced for Mumbai-New Delhi Rajdhani Express in December, 2003.[14] Up to March 2011, 997 LHB coaches were produced by the RCF.[16][17] All of these coaches are being used in premium trains like Rajdhani, Shatabdi, Duronto Express, superfast trains and have been offering better passenger comfort.[18] Soon, all the Duronto trains will be equipped with LHB coaches.[19]


Annual production of LHB coaches is around 400 per year for year 2013–14.[20]

  • During 2010–11, Rail Coach Factory, Kapurthala produced 300 coaches.[21] During 2012–13, the total number of coaches that were produced was 1680, while in 2013–14, RCF was able to increase the production to 1701 coaches.[22]
  • During 2013–14, Integral Coach Factory produced 25 LHB coaches.[23] It plans to increase its manufacturing capacity of LHB coaches. It has set a target to manufacture 300 LHB coaches in 2014-15 and reach a capacity of 1000 LHB coaches by 2016–17.[24]
  • The planned capacity of Modern Coach Factory, Raebareli has produced 711 coaches during 2017-18 and planned to 1400 coaches in 2018-19


Coach Type Class Sleeping




LWFAC[25] 1A 24 24
LWACCW[25] 2A 52 52
LWFCWAC[26] 1A/2A 10+28 10+28
LWACCN[25] 3A 72 72
LWACCNE 3E 83 83
LWFCZAC[25] EC - 56
LWSCZAC[25] CC - 78
LWSCZDAC[25] Double decker CC - 120
LWSCZ 2S - 102
LSLRD UR/GEN - 37-46


  1. ^ "New-look train to Delhi rolls out". The Times of India. 22 April 2013. Archived from the original on 1 February 2014. Retrieved 5 September 2012.
  2. ^ "History". Alstom. Archived from the original on 18 February 2013. Retrieved 5 September 2012.
  3. ^ "Fastest train 'Duronto' is slow off the blocks". The Hindu. 31 March 2012. Retrieved 5 September 2012.
  4. ^ a b c "Improvement in Secondary Suspension of "IRY-IR20" Coach using Adams/Rail" (PDF). Rail Coach Factory. Retrieved 8 September 2012.
  5. ^ a b c "New AC coaches inducted into Railways". The Indian Express. 17 March 2000. Retrieved 8 September 2012.
  6. ^ a b "LHB coaches saved Rajdhani passengers". The Times of India. 25 March 2010. Archived from the original on 12 April 2012. Retrieved 5 September 2012.
  7. ^ "Bogie boost for Rajdhani & Shatabdi". The Telegraph. 14 May 2012. Retrieved 5 September 2012.
  8. ^ "OBJECTIVES OF THE NEWTECHNOLOGY". Scribd. Retrieved 5 September 2012.
  9. ^ a b c d e "New coaches for Mumbai Rajdhani". Business Line. 19 May 2003. Retrieved 8 September 2012.
  10. ^ "New-look coaches likely in Shatabdi Exp". The Times of India. 29 June 2009. Archived from the original on 3 January 2013. Retrieved 21 September 2012.
  11. ^ "Old rake allotted to Duronto Express". The Hindu. 24 April 2012. Retrieved 5 September 2012.
  12. ^ Debroy, Bibek (9 February 2018). "A 70-year-old vs a 30-year-old: LHB coaches perform better than ICF ones". Business Standard. Retrieved 5 June 2019.
  13. ^ "ALSTHOM coaches". IRFCA. Archived from the original on 21 February 2014. Retrieved 6 September 2012.
  14. ^ a b "Rolling Stock" (PDF). Indian Railways.
  15. ^ "Imported coaches ready to hit the tracks". The Hindu. 12 November 2001. Archived from the original on 15 June 2013. Retrieved 8 September 2012.
  16. ^ "RCF produces 597 LHB Coaches". Press Information Bureau, Govt. of India. 16 July 2009. Retrieved 7 September 2012.
  17. ^ "Induction of Linke Holfman Bush coaches at snail's pace". The Times of India. 10 August 2012. Archived from the original on 11 November 2013. Retrieved 7 September 2012.
  18. ^ "Railways to opt for LHB coaches in all trains". Orissa TV. 22 April 2011. Retrieved 7 September 2012.[permanent dead link]
  19. ^ Press Trust of India . "Railways to increase rolling stock output", Business Standard, New Delhi 7 November 2013. Retrieved on 11 November 2013.
  20. ^ "Production of LHB Coaches on Indian Railways". Pib.nic.in. 21 February 2014. Retrieved 10 May 2018.
  21. ^ "Kapurthala gets order to make 693 'better' coaches". The Indian Express. 10 May 2012. Retrieved 21 September 2012.
  22. ^ "RCF achieves highest ever coach production in 2013-14". Press Trust of India. 11 April 2014. Archived from the original on 20 April 2014. Retrieved 20 April 2014.
  23. ^ "ICF produces record 1,622 coaches - Times of India". Timesofindia.indiatimes.com. 1 April 2014. Retrieved 10 May 2018.
  24. ^ "Indian government approves Kolar coach factory". Railjournal.com. 12 March 2014. Retrieved 10 May 2018.
  25. ^ a b c d e f "Rlys may raise stainless steel coach production". Business Line. 22 June 2007. Retrieved 6 September 2012.
  26. ^ "Condonation of infringement to maximum dimensions of Composite (AC Ist + AC-2 Tier) EOG LHB Variant Coach (LWFCWAC) to IRSOD (BG) Revised, 2004" (PDF). Indian Railways. 25 February 2013. Retrieved 16 April 2016.