New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The Indian Railways has installed Polymer Dispersed Liquid Crystal (PDLC)-based "smart switchable windows" in the First AC coach of Howrah-New Delhi AC Special as a replacement for window curtains to cut constant heat and light during the day. 

The Railways had removed curtains from all AC coaches last year and advised passengers to bring their own blankets in the wake of the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. The passengers had faced inconvenience from the constant light, while heat from the outside was affecting the efficacy of internal cooling, a Railway Ministry official said, as reported by news agency IANS.

This is the first time that the Indian Railways has installed smart switchable windows, the official said. With the press of a switch, a passenger can make the window glass from transparent to opaque. This will help maintain privacy inside the AC coaches, and block the heat and light from outside.  

"The passengers were facing inconvenience of constant light and external heat during the summer season. It affected the efficacy of the internal cooling too," the official said. 

Earlier,  the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation had announced the return of e-catering services at selected stations. The services were suspended on March 22, 2020 following the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Aside from this, the Railways, in collaboration with BookBaggage, has also launched a mobile application-based end-to-end baggage service in the country. The service was available only at the airports. At a base price of Rs 125, customers can get 25 kilograms of luggage delivered. The luggage exceeding 25 kg will incur an extra cost. The maximum luggage that can be taken at one time is 35 kg. The prices will also be subject to the distance from the station. 

Posted By: Lakshay Raja