I traveled on Mumbai Central to New Delhi by Rajdhani Express with LHB coaches and returned by August Kranti Rajdhani with ICF coaches in the first week of February 2005. Both types of coaches have their pros and cons that I am sharing with you.
The LHB coaches were made at RCF. The finishing was better than ICF coaches but still not on par with original coaches made in Germany.
The first thing that you may notice is AC First class is absence of small sink cum tabletop. That is a good decision as it provides good legroom if you wish to sit closer to window. There are two power outlets for laptops or cell phone chargers. Reading lamps are located on wall near window.
Our coach was sandwiched between Power generator car and Pantry car. The pantry equipments are well laid and cleanliness was easily noticed.
Power Generator and Guard's cubicle shared the same coach. Guard had walkie-talkie, VHF and conventional phones. There is no toilet for guard or two members of generator crew. It makes sense since the entire rake is vestibuled.
Rajdhani rake has two generator cars with two generators in each car. The control panel offers several functions to monitor electrical load at different locations in rake, temperature and most notably the axle speed (in Kms/hr) of generator car.
Return journey was in August Kranti Rajdhani with ICF coaches. This was the only ICF built rake for this train, I was told.
Pantry car showed the age as well as quality enforced by different catering firm.
The loco was WAP4E. BCT-NDLS Raj was hauled by WAP5. One can easily notice how quickly WAP5 accelerates compared to WAP4. Conventional wired phone is still used on Rajdhani even though these rakes also have walkie-talkie and VHF phones. I captured Assistant driver wrapping cable for conventional phone on film.