I was under the impression earlier that stickers on the exterior have been
replaced by paint in the new rakes. But, that is NOT the case. The orange
strip above the doors is still a sticker, and so are the II or I numbers
indicating the class of the coach. I saw the orange strip torn at many
places on rake number 037-038. The class indicators were missing on many
doors. So, the only improvement which I thought was made in the new rakes,
has not been made.
I also saw rake number 207 65-66 (despatched from ICF on 29/11/2008). The
driving cab of 207 C 065 is pathetic. I could make out rectangular pieces
welded together to form the cab’s exterior. [Update: Almost all the new driving cabs are this bad] As usual, rust had already set
in on that rake too.
I have heard from people travelling in first class regularly that there has
been no significant improvement in the legroom in First class. MRVC claims
to have increased the legroom by 10 cm, but that has not had any visible
effect. Knees of opposite passengers still touch each other.
One month ago, I had noticed another issue with the quality of the rakes,
but I had not posted about it yet. Now, I have photographic proof of that
defect (or feature, as ICF would like to call it). Please see the following picture:
The quality of the
metal used is pathetic. Surely MRVC has not ordered the use of poor quality
materials. Adjacent dots have merged into one at many places.
Also, I now have photographic proof of the poor workmanship of ICF.
The finishing of the
recess for alarm chain equipment is so bad. Even worse is the crudely cut
metal around it. There was a gap of about 1-1.5 cm between the sidewall of
the coach and the recess for alarm chain equipment. But, I noticed this only
when I went to the doorway to alight from the rake, and hence could not take
photos of it. Is this too is a fault of MRVC?
In spite of all this, the idiot (pardon me for the harsh language, but
officials who speak in this manner deserve this) Chief Mechanical Engineer
of ICF dares to call these rakes “top class”. Looks like the poor guy has
not seen even a single Jessop rake in his entire life!
In short, my opinion remains unchanged. Rs 9-10 crores (excluding the
approximate cost of Siemens electricals) are going down the drain (or
elsewhere) with every new MRVC rake.