Mumbai: AC local to ply on trans-harbour line from January, 16 services daily

Iram Siddique
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An existing local train will be withdrawn to induct the AC service on the trans-harbour line. The trains will ply on Thane-Panvel and Thane-Vashi routes.

In what could be a New Year’s gift to commuters, the Central Railway (CR) is gearing up to induct a new air-conditioned rake for local trains in the first week of January. According to the tentative plan, the train will operate on the trans-harbour corridor and have 16 services daily, of which three each will be available for morning and evening peak hours and the remaining 10 for other hours of the day.

The new rake that arrived in Mumbai on Monday will be tested for electrical fitments, following which it will undergo basic trials. At present, the rake is parked at the Kurla car shed. These trials will be conducted in the presence of officials from Integral Coach Factory (ICF) and the CR.

A senior official from the CR said, “The trials and minor modifications will take about 20 days and if no major issues are found, we are looking at starting the service in the last week of December or the first week of January.”

An existing local train will be withdrawn to induct the AC service on the trans-harbour line. The trains will ply on Thane-Panvel and Thane-Vashi routes.

A senior official said unlike the prototype rake that had arrived on the Western Railway (WR) and had to undergo exhaustive trials that took some months, the rake which has arrived on the CR will be inducted within a month as it is of the same make with electrical components of BHEL.

Shalabh Goel, Divisional Railway Manager of the CR, said, “We are in the process of finalising a date; however, we are looking at starting within a month.”

It is the first of the six AC rakes, which are going to run on the CR. According to officials, there are some demands on starting the AC train on the main line instead of the trans-harbour line but as and when the new rakes will arrive, services will be inducted on other corridors as well. The rake, which has arrived, is not more than 4.27 mm in height making it fit to be operated on all the corridors.

WR: Maximum speed of Bombardier locals on slow corridor now 90 kmph

Commuters on the Western Railway (WR) can expect improved punctuality of local trains as the maximum speed of Bombardier trains on the slow corridor has been increased to 90 kmph against the present limit of 70 kmph.

Automatic signalling systems were equipped with four aspects, having red, double yellow, yellow and green signals, as against the conventional three signals to make the increased speed possible.

Until now, a local train plying on a slow corridor would only go up to a maximum speed of 70 kmph to make it possible for the train to halt in case of a red signal. But the four-aspect signal system that has been introduced in the slow corridor will also have a double yellow before showing a yellow signal until the train can move at a higher speed.

A senior official said, “With the older rakes, the three-aspect signal did not make a difference as their maximum speed was only 70 kmph. But with rakes that have electricals of Siemens and Bombardier, they can go up to a speed of 110 kmph.”

Despite a dense suburban network under it, the WR had not evolved to their increased speed as they now have the required clearance. Ravinder Bhakar, chief public relations officer of the WR, said, “A notification issued from the board has empowered the general manager to give such clearances, following which the speed of the section has been increased.”