Amid the Covid pandemic, the railways decided to remove curtains from the air-conditioned coaches of the trains, which led the national transporter to come up with a new innovation of smart switchable windows to cut constant light from outside and external heat.
A Railway Ministry official said the curtains in AC coaches of Rajdhani and Shatabdi and other Mail or Express trains were removed to prevent the spread of coronavirus since the outbreak of Covid-19 last year.
He said that though the removal of curtains was inevitable, the purpose of putting curtains on the windows of AC coaches remains unchanged.
He said, “The passengers were facing inconvenience of constant light from outside and external heat during the summer season affecting the efficacy of internal cooling too. This problem existed on a pan-India basis.”
The official said that for the first time in Indian Railways, Eastern Railway has evolved a solution to the curtain problem.
The official said that the Eastern Railway has introduced Polymer Dispersed Liquid Crystal (PDLC) based “smart switchable window” in the First AC coach of the Howrah-New Delhi AC Special, earlier known as the Rajdhani Express.
“This technology enables passengers to press the switch to make the transparent window glass non-transparent and vice versa,” he said.
The official added: “The newly installed window glass based on this technology will help the passengers to enjoy privacy whenever they want and will also cut the ultra-violet radiation through the window glass.”
The official also said that the new smart switchable window also helps maintain the privacy inside the AC coach of the train as no one will be able to have any access inside the train coach after the switch is turned on.