To make your journey comfortable on Mumbai’s suburban network, the railways had announced the plan to run AC locals in 2002 After a long pause, in 2010, Mumbai Railway Vikas Corporation (MRVC) conducted a survey to study the demand for AC locals. Most commuters responded positively to it.
In 2011-12, the Western Railway ordered the first AC to the Integral Coach Factory. It was expected to reach city in March 2012, but it remained on papers. While presenting the 2013-14 railway budget, then railway minister Pawan Kumar Bansal had announced to introduce the first AC suburban local in Mumbai In 2016-17 railway budget, the ministry announced to introduce AC local before end of March 2016. Earlier, railways had planned to operate the first AC local on WR, but railway minister Suresh Prabhu allotted it to CR, at the last moment. Chennai-based Integral Coach Factory has built the first AC suburban local, which is also the first of Indian Railways.
Bharat Heavy Electric Limited (BHEL) has developed the electric systems for the train. The train has missed several deadlines because of delay at the design stage. Finally, flagged off from the ICF on March 31, 2016, the train reached Mumbai via Ballarshah, Bhusawal, Manmad, Igatpuri and Karasra route, on Tuesday The train is parked at Kurla car shed where it will go through various software upgrades and trials in the coming days.
CR has planned to operate suburban services with the AC local on the Harbour corridor between CST-Panvel and CST-Andheri. Before inducting into service, the local will go through various safety trials, in presence of CR, BHEL, ICF and RDSO officials, probably from April 16 CR has planned to conduct first safety trials of the local on Trans-Harbour line and those could take at least four months.
Special features of the train:
The arrangement in the AC train is similar to the existing trains, but in four motor coach that carries traction motor, a longitudinal equipment box is there, which eats space of two seats
Unlike existing suburban locals, the AC train has huge windows for a panoramic view outside
Coaches are provided with transparent luggage racks with aluminium extrudes
passengers can speak to the motorman and the guards in case of emergency in the talk-back facility
Automatic doors. Those would be operated with the button fixed in the motorman cabs
Unlike existing rakes, the train is provided with GPS-based LED displays. It will allow railways to give real-time information about the train position
It has IGBT-based 25,000 volt AC traction, along with regenerating braking. The system will generate power and put in the system whenever motorman applies brakes
Manual-door-opening facility For opening doors manually in case of any eventuality, inside and outside of the each door, nobs have been provided. Turning those, people can open the doors manually
Connected with air-tight vestibule like in outstation trains, six of the 12 coaches of the train are interconnected. It means people can walk from the first to the sixth coach.