Pros and Cons plus comparison between food service
LHB coaches have disc brakes that are smooth and efficient. They do not generate grinding noise (I am used to it, though) that prevails conventional coaches.
However, I am not satisfied with their braking characteristics. Every time, the brakes were applied or released, there was a cracking sound at coupler as if the next coach was pushing in or pulling out. May be this was due to heavier generator car pushing and pulling off from a lighter AC1 (H1) coach, I do not know. Conversation with other Technical Managers in IR confirmed that this is a known issue. This was very annoying when you are asleep.
Ride is smooth with very little lateral movement. Toilets are well designed. The water flows under pressure than gravity. No ash trays below no smoking signs.
ICF coaches on the other hand, generated grinding sound (of brake shoes) when brakes were applied. I guess I am too used to it and hence it was not distraction. These coaches did not feel jerky when brakes were applied or released.
One thing I liked is the layout of switches and power outlets in ICF coaches. They are easier to access compared to LHB coaches, if you get a lower berth.
Food in BCT - NDLS Rajdhani is definitely superior than August Kranti Rajdhani. This, I believe is difference of quality adhered to by different catering teams. Crew in BCT - NDLS Rajdhani pampered us as if we belonged to some Royal family. Even though the fare (INR 4000) is comparable to air fare, I enjoyed the treatment and food that was worth the money. I'll go for it again.
The snacks were good in both quality and quantity. When attendant asked about choice for dinner, I inquired about my options. He said, fish and chicken. I opted fish. But no, he said, fish is standard, I need to choose between Tandoori chicken or Chicken curry. Needless to say, the dinner was more than enough to make me sleep happily.
Food quality in August Kranti Rajdhani was okay but nothing special to notice. I would not trade my airline seat for August Kranti seat.