Continuing the tradition of missing deadlines of major infrastructure projects, the Central Railway (CR) has now failed to stick to its January 25 deadline to switch from direct current (DC) to alternate current (AC) between Kalyan and Thane stations.
The project has been delayed due to the unavailability of DC-AC rakes that are able to ply in DC as well as AC territory. The lack of rakes has now led to squabbling between the central and western railway (WR) authorities. “WR was supposed to give us five DC-AC rakes, of which we have received only three. This has led to the delay. As soon as we get sufficient number of rakes, conversion will be completed,” said Subodh Jain, general manager, CR.
CR needs 20 more DC-AC rakes to complete DC-AC conversion till Thane. Of those, 15 twelve-car DC-AC rakes have been retrofitted and the remaining ones were supposed to come from WR.
However, both CR and WR are in a desperate need of rakes. CR requires them to complete DC-AC conversion till Thane while WR is under pressure to expand suburban services till Dahanu, before this financial year.
“We had given rakes to WR, when they needed it for the conversion work. Now, WR is planning to run 51 additional services including ladies specials and a 15-car rake instead of returning those rakes,” said a CR senior official.
However, a WR spokesperson said that they were expecting pure AC rakes from Chennai-based Integral Coach Factory . These rakes will be used for the newer services and the AC-DC rakes will be returned to CR.