Climbing the upper berth while travelling in third AC coaches of the Indian Railway will no longer be a cumbersome affair. The designers at the National Institute of Design (NID) have come up with a collapsible ladder that would help passengers climb the upper berth.
The newly designed prototype has been agreed upon in principle and the team is currently working on the final prototype. The design is a part of the Railway Design Centre at NID which was set up last year after a MoU was singed between the Rail Ministry and NID with a corpus of Rs10 crore last year.
Senior faculty at NID Bengaluru campus and head of universal design, professor VS RaviShankar said, “Universal design is all about accessibility. Accessibility to upper berth has been an issue for quite some time now. So we had to work on a design to make it ergonomically comfortable and viable.
Since the 3-tier compartment is very compact, space was the biggest constraint for us. Hence, we designed a collapsible ladder that goes lower than the lower berth till the tray and folds under the window. ” At present, we are working on the final prototype that involves decisions related to what kind of material should be used including safety measures. The present ladders affixed on the berths have a round steel pipe; however, we will use a flat steel pipe for the foot rest. Once the final design is ready, we will test it on the berths”, he said.
In February this year, the Railway ministry had announced plans to unveil high-speed coaches equipped with automatic sliding doors. Even the colours of the high-speed coaches were suggested by NID. The two suggested themes involved Cheetah and peacock, representing speed and pride of the nation.