Indian Railway Develops Hybrid Vacuum Toilets


New Delhi: Minister of Railways has made a statement in the Budget Speech 2015 that Indian Railways shall fit Vacuum toilets on trains. Development Cell of the Railway Board has come up with a design that combines the advantages of Vacuum toilets and those of Bio toilets to create a new design of “Hybrid Vacuum Toilet”. A prototype has been made by modifying the standard flushing protocol of a vacuum toilet so as to create water seal and additional post flush cycles and this concept has been converted into a working prototype by Indian Railways as a first ever system of its kind to have been developed and built by any railway system in the world. This newly developed toilet has been fitted in one coach No. 153002/C FAC that is running in Dibrugarh Rajdhani for trail.

The prototype consists of a custom designed Vacuum toilet adapted from a commercially available vacuum toilet that is used in aircraft which evacuates its discharge into a bio digested tank which is now successfully proven in the bio toilets of Indian Railways. The bio digested tank is fitted underneath the coach and contains anaerobic bacteria that convert human fecal matter into water and small amount of gases before discharging the same on the ground/track.

Typically, a conventional toilet or Bio toilet uses 10 – 15 liters of water per flush whereas the vacuum toilet consumes only apex. 500 ml of water for flushing. Water is a very precious natural resource therefore this innovation shall save water to the tune of at least 1/20th of the quantity that is used in the current design of bio toilets/conventional toilets.

By transferring the discharge of the vacuum toilets into bio digester, the need to create separate ground handling installation and creating additional sewer load on the Municipal Corporation will be done away with.

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