Lifeline Express: 10 Things To Know About The First ‘Hospital On Wheels’ In The World


The Lifeline Express or Jeevan Rekha Express is World’s first hospital train run by the Impact India Foundation. It was developed in collaboration with the Indian Railways and Health Ministry and has been funded by Impact UK, international charitable sources, Indian corporate houses and individuals. Here are 10 things to know about the lifeline express.

1. It started on 16 July 1991, as of 2010 the service had completed almost 120 projects, benefiting over 600,000 rural Indians.


2. It was started to provide on-the-spot diagnostic, medical and advanced surgical treatment for preventive and curative interventions for disabled adults and children, especially to extend access to rural areas.


3. The Lifeline express train is formed of specially-designed air-conditioned coaches.


4. The train has two surgical operation theatres with three plus two operating tables, a sterilization area, two recovery rooms for patients, on-board power generators, a pantry car, storage for medical supplies, and accommodation for medical staff.


5. The train has an ophthalmologic testing room, a dental unit, a laboratory, an X-ray unit and an auditorium with a large LCD display unit. The train also has a public address system and closed-circuit TV.


6. Apart from this, the Lifeline express seeks to improve the efficiency of the existing local government and voluntary health infrastructure and services, as well as providing initiative and encouragement for the local bodies to get involved in all aspects of the programme and provide follow-up services after the train has left.


7. The first coach is a power car which also has a staff compartment and pantry area. The staff compartment is situated at the rear with a 12-berth staff-quarter, kitchen unit, water purifier, a gas stove and electric oven and refrigerator. The second coach consists of the office and the medical store, as well as two autoclave units.


8. Indian Railway after 16 years of work (93 projects in different parts of India) from the Lifeline Express has provided Impact India foundation with five new coaches, for the new and improved Jeevan Rekha Express.


9. From Orthopaedic surgical interventions to epilepsy diagnosis, this train has a wide range of services to offer.


10. The train visits different parts of the country, usually rural areas with insufficient Health Care facilities, or areas hit by natural disasters, etc., and stays in each place for 21 to 25 days while medical care (routine as well as major surgery) is provided to the local people.